Google Inc. has just acquired the e‑commerce parcel collection operator BufferBox for an
The Ontario-based startup, which runs its business from the “VeloCity Garage” inside Waterloo’s startup incubator “Communitech Hub”, has clearly impressed the tech leviathan (whose regional headquarters is literally upstairs), despite not quite reaching its second birthday.
A simple but ingenious parcel delivery solution
E‑commerce analysts, web content managers and e‑commerce managers far and wide will be intrigued by the unique service offered by BufferBox. It provides a solution for those amongst us who have been unable to receive a home-delivered e‑commerce parcel because we’ve been away or at work – pretty well everyone, in other words.
Parcels can instead be delivered to a self-serve BufferBox kiosk – a temporary locker based in readily accessible central locations. Users simply sign up for a BufferBox address, then give it to an e‑commerce merchant who can deliver ordered parcels to the kiosk instead of the home address.
As soon as the parcel arrives, users are alerted by email. They can then fetch their parcel when they have the time using a one-time-only code.
The company now hopes to harness Google’s formidable resources to scale up their operations, changing the way Joe Public and e‑commerce firms think about shipping packages in the process.
David makes friends with Goliath
The firm’s youthful Chief Executive Mike McCauley, who came up with the idea with a couple of fellow graduates from Waterloo University, said:
“Being a small company and a startup, there’s obviously a lot of challenges. So us being able to work very closely with someone like Google allows us to leverage their resources and share vision and combine thoughts and talent together to really make something a lot bigger than we ever would have imagined. We’re really excited to be able to build out that vision quite a bit quicker than we otherwise would have without them onside.”
For its part, Google is maintaining that it plans to “keep doing BufferBox”, which it believes will help enhance its expanding m‑commerce operations in Waterloo.