This week we talk to Cate Tumewa, a software engineer who developed GimmeNow, a geo-aware online marketplace that uses a seamless, end-to-end, automated process thus integrating eCommerce, inventory, fulfilment, and logistics on one platform. GimmeNow allows customers to shop at various local businesses and receive them in just one delivery. Launched at the height of the pandemic in 2020, GimmeNow grew in popularity for its innovative solution and has not slowed down in growth even in a post-COVID environment.
ISB: What inspired you to start GimmeNow?
CT: A few years ago, I became a single parent to a toddler, with little to no support network. Every day was a rush – a demanding consulting job, commuting to the office, picking up my son, making dinner, then bedtime. There was no extra time outside of work and home. How I wished that things I needed would appear magically. If only I could shop online and get instant delivery. Especially when my child was unwell. I just had no time and energy, nor heart to get my sick child into the car and go to the shop for cough syrup and fever medicine. Even preparing a gift for a birthday party was challenging. There was no such service in Australia. So, that’s where the idea of GimmeNow started.
ISB: How has your experience as a software engineer been of help in launching this venture?
CT: As a software engineer in a global consulting company for 15 years, I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with some of the best innovation teams in technology, analytics, and automation for a range of industries. The experience has been invaluable in the development of GimmeNow, which is a geo-aware marketplace that uses a seamless, end-to-end, automated process. Our custom-built technology platform allows customers to buy from various local businesses and receive them in one delivery instantly. Not tomorrow or next week, but in less than two hours.
ISB: In what way has your experience in starting this business been different from helping other businesses get off the ground?
CT: It really hasn’t been too different, in terms of the innovative process of ideation and development, which is why I’ve had the confidence to get GimmeNow off the ground. I’ve been at the forefront of innovation for all kinds of businesses. Now, it’s my time to do it for my own business. In establishing GimmeNow, I’ve become super active in learning, starting with getting selected for the Founder Institute entrepreneurship program, and getting involved with numerous start-up communities.
If there’s one difference, it would be that businesses within a corporation get ample support and skillsets across all areas. Within a start-up, I have had to be a one-person business operator – the accountant, the lawyer, the salesperson, and the engineer. Luckily, we have an amazing development team who have been key in bringing my idea to life.
ISB: How does GimmeNow manage to keep its promise of delivering items in just under two hours?
CT: The magic of GimmeNow is the technology that uses a seamless end-to-end, automated process. We focused on building a top-notch platform, right here in Australia, with Australian expertise. Automating and integrating the end-to-end process proved to be high in complexity, and required a significant amount of research and development, but the ease we have created for our retailers, customers, and ourselves, has been tremendous. Behind the scenes, our platform seamlessly fulfils orders and despatch couriers using geo-aware intelligence and real time tracking.
ISB: What are your plans for GimmeNow in the next couple of years?
CT: We plan to expand our service across Australia. And we’ll grow the number of retailers and products on our platform. Even with the world opening up and returning to pre-pandemic times, the demand for instant delivery is not slowing down. We want to make GimmeNow available to the many Australians who need us to help make their lives easier.
ISB: What is the most important piece of advice you’d share with other entrepreneurs looking to bring their business idea to life?
CT: Believe in your idea and give it your all. Be prepared to pivot – change is constant. And don’t give up.