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Dubai start-up chases intention-based shipping market

Dubai start-up chases intention-based shipping market joins those who want something shipped with those prepared to deliver. Likely first mover advantage as Dubai bids to become the world’s aviation transport hub.

September 1, 2008 10:50 by

Readers of trend spotting site will be used to seeing great new business ideas from Europe and North America. Finally, it features an innovative start-up from the UAE.

Dubai-based Darrb (which means “way” in Arabic) is a delivery service marketplace that aims to connect people who have something to send with people who are willing to do the delivering. It is similar to Texas-based uShip, covered last year on Springwise.

In eBay fashion, the process begins when a user posts an item they want to have delivered. Those interested in handling the job—known on the site as “Darrbers”—then bid for it with the lowest price and fastest delivery time they can offer. Darrb sorts all bids by both price and promised speed, with a third factor—quality of service, as measured by the deliverer’s past customer ratings—available as a deciding factor. Once the user selects a Darrber and the job is done, he or she can enter feedback and ratings that get attached to that shipper’s account for use by future users.

With Dubai set to become the world’s aviation transport hub, the idea has long-term legs. Emirates passengers will soon be linked to most destinations in the world via Dubai. Darrb is part of IDT, a member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders.

Using Darrb during its beta period is free, and will remain so for users, the site says. Shippers will eventually be charged membership fees. More than 100 Darrbers have signed on with the site since its launch, and those numbers will likely increase soon: Earlier this month the team behind Darrb launched eMapia, a map-based online marketplace that lets users search by country for things for sale around the world, and it plans to promote the use of Darrb for shipping those items.

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