Drivers in the Brandon region have a new option through which to request vehicle roadside assistance this spring with the recent launch of an innovative app by a local tech startup.
Kaput gives drivers the ability to make on-demand requests for services that currently include tire changes, battery boosts and fuel delivery. Once a request is submitted through the app, it is automatically paired with a nearby approved partner who is given 60 seconds to accept the request. From that point they are on-average on-site servicing the request within 15-20 minutes.
Customers pay on a per-request basis via an account setup in the app, with Kaput in turn compensating the service provider for the call.
Kaput has been founded by Brandon’s Peter Hutchinson, who along with a current staff of five maintain office space in the city’s downtown. In addition to Brandon, service is presently offered in Winnipeg with requests fulfilled within 40km of each city according to Hutchinson.
Service calls are responded to by a growing network of 30 partners in Manitoba, ten of which are in Brandon. Roadside partners hired come with a background in mechanics and customer service and are screened with interviews, references, drivers abstract and criminal record checks. Partner training is carried out with all service providers prior to being available to answer requests submitted through the app.
Brandon will soon also have the available services of towing, unlocking and winching by mid-August with the process currently underway to enlist tow truck partners.
Kaput founder and CEO Peter Hutchinson in front of Downtown's Bass Building, which is home to the startup's headquarters (Photo: Matthew Poetker)
The city has increasingly seen services offered via apps based on the “gig economy” model, most notably restaurant and grocery delivery services and earlier this year the launch in the market of an app offering snow clearing and lawn maintenance. Various ride-hailing apps are known to be eyeing entry into the market when permitted to do so within local regulations.
With Kaput now offering roadside assistance in Brandon and Winnipeg, plans are to continue expanding in the province in 2020 with an eye on future growth beyond provincial borders.
The Kaput app, which has seen more than 400 downloads since it’s February launch, is available for download on iOS and Android platforms in each platform’s respective app marketplace.
Title photo: Colby Sobchuk