We met up with Tamara Lucas, co-founder of My Panda, to learn about the community-based personal assistant app helping women get through their to-do lists with less stress. Lucas came up with the platform based on her own experience and time management struggles at home. From tasks as simple as taking out the trash to wrapping presents for a birthday party, women around the Atlanta area are coming to the rescue.
Here’s what Lucas had to say about her startup:
My Panda is a personal assistant next door app. By leveraging technology and trusting the hyperlocal community to help the target market, My Panda attracts extremely busy, driven, and ambitious women to get the help they need to accomplish day-to-day tasks.
Owned by the two Co-founders: Tamara Lucas and Amanda Farahany
40-60 depending on consumer demand
2019, after a friends and family round allowing My Panda’s app to be developed
Funding plans to help the company grow:
As far as institutional funds, we are raising some money. We raised some from a couple of angels. I have something coming up that I’m not allowed to announce yet, but, we’re working on other funding coming in from an accelerator and then in a few months we’ll be opening up another funding round.
Price of services:
$30 per hour
What customers can expect:
My Panda offers many levels of help in different areas. You can just put in a request and say “figure out what we’re having for dinner this weekend,” run to the store, take the chicken out of the freezer, take the dog for a quick walk, and fold the laundry that’s in the dryer. We are a comprehensive company of verified, trustworthy support to help get all the things done that you need.
How you got the idea for it:
I’m a single mom of two kids. And, I was running a couple of businesses and my sink was full and my laundry was everywhere. I had a friend who was a dog walker who also completed chores in people’s houses. I had the idea that people could pop in while I’m at work and just empty my dishwasher and fill it. I knew there were so many people like my friend and me. We are all lacking time, but there are people that have time that would be completely happy to monetize it nearby.
Collaboration tools & processes you use:
Trello, Google Drive, Zoom
Where do you gain your insights from and how do you stay on top of emerging trends:
I think the biggest thing that I’ve done is tap into the startup and tech ecosystem. I try to get involved in as many activities, and events as I can. Because we’re so focused on helping women, and that’s our target market, 95% of our pandas are women. 90% of our users are women. We are a culture of women helping women.
What’s unique about your company culture:
Our sense of community. We are people from the community, supporting other people in the community. We encourage supporting community businesses and supporting the local economy. Additionally, the other big part is supporting women on a whole holistic level. With the pandemic and some of the recent Supreme Court decisions, women are struggling. We need to know that we don’t have to do it all on our own and that we do have help available to us. A big part of what I’m going to be working on as we begin to expand is targeting the psychological impact on women to help them understand they don’t need to have the guilt of doing everything themselves while helping them prioritize and delegate the tasks in their life.
What you need most right now:
Primarily funding. I think we’re appealing because we are so flexible and because we allow people to work close to home and work on their own schedule. I think a lot of people are coming to us because of that. It’s about building awareness and getting the word out.
How has it been building something like this in Atlanta? What are the highs and lows of building a consumer app in Atlanta:
Atlanta has a lot of activity going on, which is really cool for someone relatively new to the startup space. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago, I would say being in Atlanta was tough, because people didn’t really understand the startup community like they do now. Within the past few years, the entrepreneurial scene has changed a lot. Plus, I’ve been here for 20 some years, and my kids were born and raised here so it’s neat to be at home while everything else is happening.
About the author: Julianna Bragg is studying Political Science and Journalism at Agnes Scott College. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in broadcast or digital journalism. Currently, she’s looking to connect the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators to improve social, racial, and environmental issues of the time.