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Eco-Friendly Startup Offers C-store Delivery Subscriptions


PHILADELPHIA — A new kind of delivery and subscription service is entering the convenience store space.

Founded by Adit Gupta and Tom Falzani, Lula is a delivery subscription service that offers unlimited one-hour delivery, anywhere, anytime for a weekly ($3.99), monthly ($11.99) or yearly ($129.99) subscription fee, Technically reported.

Lula was built on the mission of "delivering convenience while saving the planet." The startup is committed to sustainability, using carbon-neutral transportation methods such as bike, scooter or electric cars. It also uses eco-friendly tote bags and partners with local sustainable food companies like Simply Good Jars.

The concept of Lula came to Gupta, who had previously helped his parents run a store that recently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team thought of a few different options for its inventory, like selling to Amazon or Shopify, but Gupta wanted a solution that would be beneficial to mom-and-pop and c-stores, which generally fare well in a recession.

"It's providing a service with a more burning need," Gupta said. 

The mobile app allows store owners to input inventory on the platform and a runner, called a "voyager," will pick up and deliver orders to customers.

The founders told Technically that while the food delivery scene is crowded with apps like Grubhub, DoorDash and Caviar, aside from goPuff — which does instant deliveries from centralized warehouses and at a per-order price — the market is open.

Additionally, the company is pushing to hire voyagers and offering a competitive pay. The goal is to provide employment for those who have previously worked jobs for tips.

"We're trying to make the driving fleet experience more rewarding," Falzani said. "We've heard feedback from drivers for companies like Instacart, Uber Eats are fed up, and we want to be incentivizing the drivers."

Lula is raising a pre-seed round and aims to sign on 500 paying customers by the end of the year. It is currently working with roughly 12 Philadelphia stores and 15 in New Jersey.

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