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This food delivery app is helping all kinds of everyday Australians earn an extra buck


With the rise of businesses such as Uber, AirBnB and TaskRabbit, Australia’s sharing economy is booming. Last year, it was reported that it contributes approximately $504 million a year to the NSW economy alone.

Everyday Australians are taking advantage of the money-making opportunities businesses of this nature present. Steve Fanale and Johnny Timbs rely solely on these people looking to earn extra income for their Sydney-based start-up Drive Yello to succeed.

This home-grown success story in the world of ‘collaborative consumption’ has been named by Fairfax as one of 13 Australian start-ups to watch this year.

Drive Yello is a food delivery service with a difference, allowing vendors to outsource their delivery capability completely, eliminating the pain and complexity of recruiting, managing, paying and tracking drivers. Franchises, restaurants, chains, cafes and small food producers simply post delivery jobs and the Drive Yello team provide them with a reliable, trusted delivery driver on-demand.

Drive YelloWhat is Drive Yello’s vision?

Drive Yello aims to help food businesses build great relationships with their customers by providing a premium delivery service.

The two founders are the perfect match for a business like Yello – Johnny has over a decade of hospitality experience with most of that time as a Crust franchisee while Steve has five other start-ups under his belt and over fifteen years’ experience in the digital industry. He founded global businesses MassMedia Studios and The Traction Platform.

“It was Halloween 2014 and we were chilling out on the porch of Johnny’s pad in Paddo sipping on a few glasses of red and splintering off a few wedges of Camembert when the phone rang. Johnny got a call from one of his pizza stores with the news every owner wants to hear – three drivers had called in sick,” Steve told us, about the light bulb moment of their start-up.

“Annoyed, Johnny begins the process of trying to find fill-in drivers and decides in the end to cope with the staff he had on hand. I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t possible to book a driver “Uber” style. It was that moment that Yello was born.

“Five years ago, the term ‘sharing economy’ was relatively unheard of. It’s changing the way businesses operate and opening up employment and money-making opportunities for Australians that just didn’t exist before now,” Steve further explained.

“The app ecosystem has essentially turned consumers into service providers in an instant and, like the rise of social media ten years ago, brands can either embrace the changes or put their heads in the sand.

Drive Yello co-founders Steve Fanale and Johnny Timbs
Drive Yello co-founders Steve Fanale and Johnny Timbs

“Drive Yello was our way of embracing this rising force. Consumers expect food delivered to their door in an instant and a lot of businesses don’t have the resources or time to manage this. We offer a valuable opportunity for businesses to expand their customer base and service offering whilst providing great opportunities to Aussie entrepreneurs to build a delivery business. Effective sharing economy models can become the outsourced resource for businesses in the future, which allows them to focus on their core business.”

How do the drivers gain from Drive Yello?

Yello allows drivers to manage their business from their phone, picking up shifts or deliveries in their local area via the Yello app and providing them with the flexibility of working for who, when and where they want.

“We’ve found that being a Yello driver suits such a wide variety of people. Students love the fact that they can utilise their spare time to earn some extra cash, mums of school-aged kids love the flexibility and older Australians value the opportunity to do something a little different than working 9am-5pm,” Steve said.

“It was important to us that Drive Yello was truly ‘on-demand’ and therefore, location is everything. Drivers have the option of only being notified about delivery opportunities in their local area.”

A vital part of the success of the sharing economy is the emphasis on a ratings system. The ability to rate a service provider gives consumers a sense of security and trust, particularly when they’re leaving their pet in someone else’s hands, staying in a stranger’s apartment, hopping into a car with a person they’ve never met or in Drive Yello’s case, trusting the safe and timely delivery of their customer’s dinner.

Drive Yello is now available on both iOS and Android, has seen over 1,000 drivers register, managed over 10,000 deliveries in three months.

“We conducted a $300,000 seed round back in March 2015 and we’re just about to close a $1 million round and will be raising again in 6 to 12 months,” the team revealed to Anthill.