Need to move a sofa, wardrobe, bicycle, or other large item? You can leave the trailer or rental van at home. Derk van der Have and Wisse Koedam founded Brenger, a new and fast delivery service. Derk: “It’s a platform that uses couriers who are on their way to some place anyway. The courier picks up the item and delivers it to you, wherever you are in the Netherlands or Flanders.” Nowadays, Brenger is partnered with Marktplaats, Troostwijk, Onlineveilingmeester, Koopplein, and over more than a hundred furniture stores.
What is Brenger —how does it work, what does it do?
“With Brenger, sending large items is cheap, easy, and sustainable. Through the Brenger platform you can send large items such as furniture. We then employ couriers whose destination coincides with the requested delivery address. This can be very convenient in all sorts of situations. For instance, when you buy a sofa on Marktplaats or an auction, or when trying to transport that heavy marble table you wanted to move all the way to your family on the other side of the country.”
What problem does your company address?
“Everybody has at some point moved a large, unwieldy item to a different location. It usually leaves you with two options: renting a van and putting in the work yourself, or arranging for an expensive courier to help you move the item(s). This is now no longer needed. Brenger links your transportation request to vacant space in ‘brenger’ vans. These couriers have a destination prior to the transportation request that coincides with the requested delivery address. We have been online since October 2016. Currently, we have 14,000 users, who give our service an average rating of 8.8.”
What prompted you to start this company? How did it originate?
“Wisse came up with the idea after his mother-in-law had forgotten her phone in Doetinchem. Neither had the time to retrieve the phone, and it would have been an exceptionally inefficient journey. So, Wisse started looking for somebody travelling to the Utrecht area, but a suitable app or website wasn’t around to aid him in his search. That prompted the creation of Brenger. Research showed that the market is very interesting. Not for lost objects per se, as those need to be returned to the owner very quickly. The interesting part is the planning of delivery services for furniture and other large items.”
When did you know Brenger was viable?
“We had been considering starting a company for some time. When your concept suddenly starts taking shape, that’s exciting. The first assignment where people found each other, and made commitments, considerably raised my confidence in Brenger. The same can be said of our first effective marketing expenses that resulted in new assignments. Finally, the collaboration with big parties such as Marktplaats and auction house Troostwijk has bolstered my conviction that our concept is full of potential. They are happy to offer our service to their customers.”
What do you expect from your participation in the AIA18? Why did you decide to register?
“Of course, we hope to win the contest. Besides that, we are looking forward to meeting other start-ups that are in a similar phase. We also hope to meet potential partners, acquire technological knowledge, and spread our name.”
What are some challenges you are facing right now?
“We are growing fast, and our customers’ experiences are overwhelmingly positive. Scaling up our platform while retaining our current quality of service is a challenge. To ensure this, customers need to be able to easily and quickly arrange transport. Conversely, signing up should be easy and carefree for the ‘bringers’ as well.”
What trends do you expect to see in Brenger’s market in the years to come?
“I expect to see people buy online more often, even second-hand stuff. We have noticed our users like employing our service for their Marktplaats purchases, for example. People don’t feel the need to pick up their purchases themselves. They detest the hassle and are increasingly placing their trust in platforms and technological solutions.”
What are the benefits of Brenger for a user?
“Comfort. Brenger arranges everything in a heartbeat. You put up your request, and ‘bringers’ offer their services. You choose one, pay with IDEAL and confirm the arrival of your stuff. That’s it. A person looking to move a desk from Amsterdam to Rotterdam recently spent €59 using Brenger. Without Brenger, this would have cost her €130 for gas and a rental van, besides wasting three hours of her precious time. I should add that you can insure your items against any damage sustained on the road, up to €500. The items are by default insured up to €100.”
What is your golden advice for entrepreneurs?
“I think two things are important. First of all, keeping your idea simple is crucial. After that, make sure to test right away. Things are often different in practice from what you imagined beforehand. Secondly, it is important to be inquisitive, talk to many people, and then put this information to use. At the end of the day, it is all about who executes an idea in the best possible manner.”