On-demand gas: WeFuel app lets users fill up away from the gas station

For drivers who really hate getting gas, WeFuel promises a convenient alternative.

The Sunnyvale-based company launched a gas delivery app Tuesday that allows users to order a full tank from their iPhone. Drivers punch in their order, and in 30 minutes or less, a little blue-and-green striped truck will meet them wherever they happen to be parked. The service is available in Menlo Park and Palo Alto. The company plans to expand to San Francisco this summer, and to the entire Bay Area by 2017. An Android app will be available this spring, according to a news release.

WeFuel co-founder JP Freijo, who worked in the oil and gas industry in Argentina, says he and his partner conducted customer surveys while developing the idea for the app, and found that “customers hated gas stations.” After seeing app-based on-demand services take off in Silicon Valley, Freijo decided to bring that business model to the gas industry.

WeFuel charges customers the going rate for gas in their zip code, plus an extra $7.49 delivery fee.

The company has raised less than $1 million from angel investors so far, Freijo said, and has plans for an additional fundraising round early this year.

They’re not the only gas delivery game in town, as Forbes reported. WeFuel will have to compete with Filld, which raised more than $3 million seed funding in Silicon Valley, and Purple, which launched in Los Angeles in May. But Freijo says there’s room for WeFuel in the more than $300 billion U.S. gas market. And he says WeFuel has something the others don’t: an Internet-enabled device that lets users fill up without being present. Soon drivers will be able to install “WeFuel Driveo” in their cars, according to a news release, and the device will track the car’s fuel level, automatically place an order, transmit the car’s location to WeFuel, and open the gas tank.

The company also has plans to offer snacks and other convenience store products, thereby eliminating the only other reason most people go to the gas station.

Freijo stressed his commitment to safety, saying WeFuel had to comply with county, state and federal regulations before launching. The company only hires experienced drivers with commercial licenses and HAZMAT endorsements, according to WeFuel’s new release. And WeFuel hired former California Fire Marshall Ronny Coleman as its safety advisor.

Photo: A WeFuel delivery truck. (WeFuel)


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