New Davao City app delivers customer service a step or bike ride away ‘ASAP’


IMAGINE this: You are patient in a hospital just within the vicinity of a shopping mall complex. Your prescription has to be brought ASAP and you need some food for a sudden craving for the palate. And there are some hygiene items for your hourly change.

With your son or a granddaughter away that morning for some quick nap and some hygiene call, to whom would you turn to?

There would be someone to do it. And soon. And even ASAP because a Davao City homegrown online delivery app is launching not only catering to online food delivery but may very well include bicycle and on-foot delivery service for compact commercial and residential centers and townships here.

One mobile phone call or click from the patient, and in less than an hour, the prescription medicines, the craved for food and the personal hygiene items would be at the patient’s doorstep through the delivery man stationed just somewhere in the complex.

“The delivery man on foot does not have to run for miles to get these items, and to get another set of orders from other buyers elsewhere,” said Meonie Patricia Grace I. Sonico, chief executive officer of Retriever, the newest online delivery apps to enter the scene.

With our on-foot delivery guys stationed in all the shopping and commercial complexes here in Davao City, buyers do not have to run the errands themselves to buy something from the shopping mall nearby from the comfort of their high-rise condominium residences, or their offices, or their hospitals or clinics.

Lots of legroom for start-up players

This would be getting ahead of the starting line that Retriever is planning to launch here soon. Sonico is  proud to banner her company as a homegrown start-up company “with the hope to help the other start-ups, or the home-based and micro-scale, in food business, and our riders and other delivery persons as well.”

Although her family is from Manila, her father established the family business on oxygen supply to hospitals here and around Mindanao, which boomed further as the nation turned to this product to save lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sonico said her father floated the idea to her to establish a food delivery app in Davao City, looking at this business with the potential for growth even after the world would have discarded the threat to the minimum.

“So this is not merely a business to tap into the promise of growth of this industry. This was established to help our sellers, our partners actually, and the riders, to a win-win arrangement,” she said.

“The brainstorming of the concept was started in April yet, but it was in July when the IT [information technology]  team of my father’s business began the application through Google Play,” she said.

The Retriever team also networked with the home-based and other micro-level businesses on food to get their feedback and suggestions based on their experiences with the other food delivery apps. Some 20 of these start-ups have already inked a deal with Retriever, which has also expanded its discussion to about 100 other sellers.

These new partners are into food and beverage business, such as pizza, sea food, pasta, noodle soups, grilled chicken, milk tea, Indian and Korean food, “items that are very popular and commonly sought out by consumers,” she said. “Our partners, the sellers, would usually point out to the high commission rates asked by the established delivery apps. They also wanted to know how our riders would benefit from this arrangement with them,” she said.

There would be no problem with buyers asking for food items from known fast-food companies, she said. “Our riders would just line up for their turn in these establishments.”


“What they like most in our operation is our online payment and other financial transaction. We still have the COD [cash on delivery] but we will eventually shift fully online in financial transactions,” Sonico said.

Sellers and buyers that they have reached out told them that they would like to order online but they were prevented from transacting online because they have no cash at home.  Besides, she said, “this online payment would prevent scammers from fooling around with our riders.”

From food, Retriever would soon venture into other product lines, like household gadgets and fixtures, from dining, living and bedrooms.

Maybe, after three or four months, “we would tap those on bicycles and those who would only walk from one store to another nearby store, from a food outlet to a pharmacy, hardware or clothing apparel shop.”

“This is especially practical in compact and complete communities like a shopping complex. It is now common in many shopping malls where business process outsourcing operations and condominium buildings are also within the shopping mall property or around it. Some complexes have hospitals or clinics and office buildings,” Sonico said. “Stores and establishments catering to any consumer needs are just nearby, so our delivery personnel would have their day full of transactions and deliveries just by being in these places and doing these on foot.”

“We have more and new ideas coming, but we would make it known publicly soon,” she said. “This online transaction has a lot of room to accommodate more startups like us.”

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