You’ve bought something online but inevitably you’re at work or out enjoying yourself when the postman knocks. The package returns to the distribution center, and you have to go through the hassle of rescheduling a delivery time. Which you might miss. Again.
It’s a prime example of something that British folks like myself refer to as “Sod’s law.”
Park N Parcel, a Singaporean last-mile logistics startup, thinks it has the solution to this problem. It has just announced it received US$648,000 in seed funding from TRi5 Ventures and a group of angel investors last month.
See: Singaporean entrepreneurs tackle last-mile delivery with neighborhood spirit
Incubated by the National University of Singapore’s NUS Enterprise and launched in January 2017, ark N Parcel provides a self-collection system for online shoppers. It allows them to have their purchases delivered somewhere other than their home, such as a neighbor’s house or a local store, to pick up at a time convenient for them.
Shoppers can search Park N Parcel’s website to pinpoint available “parkers” – the close-to 1,500 vetted proxies who can receive their deliveries. Once matched, they can then enter the relevant parker’s details as the shipping address for their package when ordering online. The shopper gets a notification from Park N Parcel when their package arrives so that they can go and collect it from their parker.
The shopper pays around US$1.80 to use the service, of which the parkers get a cut. The startup said in a statement today that it has seen 30 percent month-on-month growth in its client base over the past year.
Park N Parcel also said it plans to use the seed capital to fulfill its goal of expanding to Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand by the final quarter of 2018. The funding will also help it to strengthen its leadership team through new hires, it added.
Beyond its self-collection platform, the startup is also moving into actual deliveries with its Park N Deliver service, which allows diehard shoppers to have their purchases from one mall delivered to a pick-up point in another.
Park N Parcel is one of several startups and industry incumbents experimenting with self-collect options. Last-mile delivery firm Ninja Van offers its own Ninja Collect service, which delivers packages either to partner businesses or drop-off lockers. SingPost has its own locker system called POPStations.
This is a developing story. Check back for further details.
Converted from Singapore dollars. Rate: US$1 = S$1.31
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