SFU economics students and brothers Hafez and Sal Rismani successfully pitch their company, Daily Delivery, on CBC's "Dragon's Den."

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Daily Delivery draws deal for duo on Dragon’s Den

October 16, 2015
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The business goals of a pair of Simon Fraser University students—brothers Hafez and Sal Rismani—are bigger since their successful Oct. 7 pitch on CBC’s high-profile program, “Dragon’s Den.”

Hafez and Sal Rismani, co-founders of the Vancouver start-up Daily Delivery, pitched their business plan to the show’s venture capitalists during the season’s premiere episode—resulting in handshakes with “dragons” Michele Romanow and Joe Mimran.

The pair asked for $200K in exchange for 10 per cent equity in their on-demand food-delivery business, and the deal was closed at a counter-offer of 33 per cent.

Their Q&A session, taped last spring, went for nearly an hour with “a heated back and forth” about their business model and the pros and cons of using crowd sourcing for engaging local delivery drivers, on an as-needed basis, who can pick up and deliver items within an hour. The Oct. 7 episode was pared down to about eight minutes.

Based in Vancouver, and delivering to downtown as well as the Kitsilano and Commercial Drive neighbourhoods, Daily Delivery’s logistics platform and crowdsourcing model primarily targets restaurants and other food-related businesses that wish to offer quick, on-demand customer deliveries without having to keep their own delivery drivers on stand-by. Customers can also use Daily Delivery to get deliveries from any store or restaurant of their choice in under an hour.

Daily Delivery opened shop a year ago with electric scooters that cost just $2 a month to recharge. But as they began to require more scooters to keep up with the growing number of orders, and given the scooters’ limited function, the brothers decided to adjust their strategy and instead began using crowdsourcing to sub-contract drivers with their own vehicles. The drivers can download Daily Delivery’s proprietary app that lets them know when there is a delivery to be made in their neighbourhood.

The brothers were among 400 teams—narrowed down from a field of thousands—to pitch at a Dragon’s Den audition for this season.

“Given the recent emergence of sharing economy marketplaces, there is still a great deal of hype around how people could take advantage of the opportunity,” says Hafez Rismani. “As such, we have Airbnb and Uber, but we wanted to focus on enabling people to make money on their own time doing deliveries using their under-utilized assets, such as unused cars or scooters.”

The pair had raised about $130,000 in angel funds towards a pre-seeded target of $600,000 and will now reap the benefits of the Dragons’ backing for $200,000.