Meet COBBER – Australia’s first peer-to-peer delivery platform for bulky second-hand goods
In today’s digital age, online marketplaces have revolutionized the way we buy and sell goods. The convenience of finding great deals on secondhand furniture and appliances has opened up a world of possibilities for individuals and families seeking affordable options. However, the logistics of transporting these larger items can often pose a significant challenge, leaving many people in frustrating and helpless situations. This is where Cobber, Australia’s first streamlined peer-to-peer delivery platform for larger secondhand goods, steps in to make a difference. At the heart of Cobber’s inception is the inspiring story of its founder, Roann Junio Hartmann, whose personal adversity fueled her determination to create a more inclusive and sustainable solution.
Roann’s journey is one that resonates with many who have faced similar challenges. As a single mother and immigrant, she found herself raising her two children in public housing, where resources were limited. To provide for her family, Roann turned to online marketplaces like Gumtree and Facebook to find secondhand goods. These platforms offered a lifeline, connecting her with affordable items that would otherwise be out of reach. However, a significant hurdle stood in her way – Roann did not possess a driver’s license and lacked the means to transport the larger items she desperately needed.
The Frustration and Determination
Roann’s frustration was palpable as she repeatedly encountered the inability to pick up items such as couches, fridges, or beds for her children. The reliance on others for transportation was unreliable and often left her feeling disappointed and disheartened. The feeling of helplessness in the face of such obstacles was a constant reminder of the challenges she and others in similar situations faced. However, instead of succumbing to defeat, Roann channeled her frustration into determination.
Roann, how have your personal experiences, particularly as an immigrant and single mother, influenced the creation and evolution of Cobber?
Drawn from these challenges, I founded Cobber, which I believe is a transformative solution for individuals facing difficulties and barriers associated with sourcing secondhand household essentials. By facilitating and streamlining the exchange of secondhand goods using technology, Cobber could help alleviate the isolation experienced by individuals, while also enabling them to access items at a lower cost and encourage responsible consumption.
You have shown immense resilience and ingenuity in the face of adversity. Can you share an instance where these qualities proved to be pivotal in the development or growth of Cobber?
How do your personal values and experiences shape the company culture at Cobber and its approach to community building?
Some of my top personal values are definitely resilience and inclusivity. I believe that creating connected communities is key to creating inclusive and resilient communities. Our company culture values peer to peer communities, where people help each other with mutual support, trust and collaboration. By leveraging technology, we aim to help remove barriers for people. We are here to help those with limited access to moving large items. Whether it’s lack of transport, caregiving duties, or physical impairments, everyone should be able to access the second-hand goods they need.
What life lessons have you learned throughout your journey that you’ve incorporated into the mission and functioning of Cobber?
Life’s journey is filled with twists, turns, and unexpected obstacles. During these moments, it’s easy to lose sight of your purpose or get caught up in the day-today grind. However, if you remain connected to your “why”, you can find the strength to persevere. It acts as a compass, guiding you back on track when you veer off course. Remembering your “why” also empowers you to make intentional choices aligned with your values. It helps you prioritise and allocate your time, energy, and resources to what truly matters. This focus increases your efficiency and productivity, as you concentrate on activities that contribute meaningfully to your goals. Creating connected communities through the Cobber brand, is the impact I want to create in this world. My vision is for Cobber to become the largest peer to peer community in the world and our delivery platform for larger secondhand goods, is only the beginning
If you were to advise a fellow founder who’s coming from a similar background as you, what specific guidance would you offer, based on your experience with Cobber?
The Birth of Cobber
Driven by her own experiences and the desire to create a more inclusive world, Roann founded Cobber. She envisioned a platform that would connect individuals who needed assistance with transporting larger secondhand goods to nearby Cobbers who had suitable vehicles and were willing to help. Cobber aimed to bridge the gap, providing a convenient and reliable solution to a problem faced by countless people in similar circumstances.
The Cobber Community
Cobber is more than just a delivery app – it is a community built on trust, support, and sustainability. By leveraging existing resources and reducing the need for additional vehicles on the road, Cobber actively contributes to the decarbonization of our planet. It is a shining example of how technology can be harnessed to make a positive impact on our environment.
Joining the Cobber Community
Joining the Cobber Community is an opportunity to be part of a movement that seeks to create a more inclusive and supportive society. As a user, you gain access to a network of registered Cobbers who are ready to lend a helping hand. With Cobber, you can say goodbye to the frustrations of arranging transportation for larger secondhand items and embrace a smarter, economical, and sustainable way of transporting your goods.
The Impact and Future
The impact of Cobber extends beyond the mere convenience of transporting goods. It provides individuals and families, especially those facing challenges similar to Roann’s, with a lifeline to essential items that can greatly improve their quality of life. Cobber’s growth has the potential to transform communities, fostering empathy, connection, and resilience.
Cobber and its founder, Roann Junio Hartmann, exemplify the power of perseverance, empathy, and innovation. Roann’s personal journey and determination to overcome obstacles paved the way for a platform that not only solves a logistical challenge but also creates a sense of community and support. By leveraging the sharing economy.
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