February 19, 2016
Inspired mission: Bakkle seeks to help transfer goods and services from people who have more than they need to people who need more than they have.
Bakkle, a California-based startup, wants to add a new word to the dictionary.
The company, pioneered largely by a trio of ambitious college students, hopes “Bakkle” will soon mean buying and selling in the same way “Google” is now synonymous with searching online.
The Bakkle app, launched in early January with the help of Rose-Hulman Ventures, promotes “inspired buying,” says Paul Truex, founder and chairman of the company. The app displays photos of items for sale in your area that you can quickly thumb through on a smartphone. You slide the screen one way to signal you “Want” the item if it catches your fancy, or the other way (signaling “Nope”) if it doesn’t.
Using Bakkle, potential buyers can fly through as many as 200 photos in less than a minute, Truex says. If they see something they like, they can quickly open a dialogue with the seller. Soon, the app will feature a series of stars to show how highly rated a buyer or seller is.
“There is a whole set of millennials who want to be marketed to when they want to be marketed to,” Truex says. Bakkle is designed with the millennial generation in mind, he says, noting three of the company’s co-founders, James Kozuch, Rameen Mashhoon, and Vansh Gandhi, are all college students.
Bakkle’s founders took their concept to Ventures in the first half of 2015 and Ventures interns had the app fully developed by the end of the year. Not only did they have the needed computer coding skills, being college students, they also brought the insights of Bakkle’s target audience.
“They immediately understood the concept,” Truex says.
Bakkle’s first goal is to build a thriving and growing community of users. In time, the app could bring neighbors closer together, while making its users better off.
“The idea is to get things from people who have stuff they don’t need to people who don’t have stuff,” Truex says. “2016 could be a transformative year.”