A new mobile app, designed in Lincoln, is filling a gap in the market by helping local tradespeople find work at short notice.
Local businessman, Paul Gascoigne, designed Frunbu (free/unsure/busy) for both Andriod and iOS.
It allows tradespeople to fill unexpected gaps in their work schedule free of charge.
Paul raised funds totalling around £150,000 to develop the app by selling his share in another software development business, as well as attracting several private investors who put in a total of £142,500.
He also received a grant from NBV Enterprise Solutions of £4,800.
The team will be promoting Frunbu in and around Lincoln, where they will be giving demonstrations at local builders’ merchants over the next few weeks.
Should the app receive enough interest, Paul has plans to expand the coverage area.
Paul, 44, said: “I came up with the idea after noticing that a lot of my friends who are also local tradesmen very often have to rearrange their working week because of last-minute cancellations or bad weather.
“Similarly, finding a tradesman who is available to do some work at short notice is never very easy, Frunbu helps to solve both of these problems.
“Whenever a tradesman finds that they have some unexpected time on their hands, the app allows them to broadcast their availability to other users in their local area.
“I’ve shown the app to many friends and business colleagues and so far the response has been very positive.
“This business has the potential to rapidly scale as it requires very little resources in terms of actual boots on the ground.
“If it grows quickly we may need to employ more software developers, and if we find it has the potential to grow outside of the UK we may need to translate the app into other languages.
“We don’t get involved in the transactional side of things – we’re just providing a platform which brings people together to solve a mutual problem.
“It’s been a challenge to get the idea off the ground. As with any investment there are risks involved but we’ve received a lot of support from some key players within the local construction industry so I feel much more confident that this app has a chance to be a success.”
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