State College

GoPuff, online delivery service, launches in State College

Through an app, GoPuff users can order more than 3,000 items, including snacks, ice cream, school supplies and household items.
Through an app, GoPuff users can order more than 3,000 items, including snacks, ice cream, school supplies and household items.

Have a smartphone and a hankering for snacks?

You may be in luck. GoPuff, an online delivery service, launched Wednesday morning in State College. For the Philadelphia startup, which turns 3 on Dec. 25, it’s the first move outside of a major U.S. city. The service will be available from noon to 5 a.m.

“Everyone has a friend who goes to Penn State,” said Yakir Gola, 23, one the company’s co-founders. “It’s our first time opening up in a true college town.”

Among GoPuff’s 13 markets are New York, Boston and Seattle.

GoPuff, which says it delivers more than 3,000 items — including ice cream, phone chargers, condoms, school supplies and household items — in 30 minutes or less, owns warehouses across its markets, and works via an Android or iOS app.

Running low on milk and cereal? The service delivers those, too.

Gola said 10 drivers, who work as independent contractors, have already signed on to take deliveries. He expects that number to expand rapidly, adding that push notifications were sent to existing users on the East Coast prior to the launch. He said the company has been receiving tweets and emails asking about when the millennial-geared service would come to Happy Valley.

“We’re anticipating major volume in the first few days of the launch,” he said.

The same happened in Philadelphia, then Boston, then Washington, D.C.

According to the company’s website, the service is akin to a “mini-mart right in your pocket.” A company release stated GoPuff has a flat $1.95 delivery charge, which is waived for orders more than $49, with zero surcharges.

Gola and co-founder Rafael Ilishayev founded GoPuff while the pair were business students at Drexel University.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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