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Google snaffles startup ecommerce delivery locker service BufferBox

Google Inc. has just acquired the e‑commerce par­cel col­lec­tion oper­a­tor Buffer­Box for an
undis­closed sum.

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.

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