Since everyone is turning to the online world to get anything their heart desires, it seems only obvious that the next step would be to assure that people can get those hockey sticks, designer headbands and camping gear to your house as quickly as possible. One UK-based company, Shutl, has just nabbed $2 million from the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund and existing investors to help move packages faster.
The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund is the private equity strategic investment arm of UPS.
This new investment will be used to expand the staff, acquire new retail partners, and prepare to launch its service in the US in early 2013.
Many companies such as PostMates are attempting to handle these shipping efforts on a local level and big brands like eBay and Amazon Prime are working hard to speed up delivery on a national level for premier membership customers.
Shutl has already secured clients such as Argos, Aurora Fashions, B&Q Tradepoint, Karen Millen and Maplin in the UK and works by connecting retailers to local same-day courier companies, enabling online and in-store customers to receive their shopping within as little as 90 minutes or within a 1-hour that they desire.
For certain buyers and retailers, the shopper can get their hands on an item within 15 minutes of checking out online -- now that it a great deal, sometimes I can't get through a busy line at a store in that amount of time.
Tom Allason, founder and CEO of Shutl has been working over the last year to expand and perfect Shutl, especially since he previously founded and exited from the delivery comapny eCourier.co.uk.
As more people see the value in Amazon Prime's $79 annual service that lets you get second day shipping as well as stream movies for free, consumers are getting more interested in near-instant gratification when it comes to online shopping and receipt.
Right now, Postmates is using a similar model where it connects retail locations and couriers but they are only working within San Francisco at the moment.
As more companies enter this space there will be more opportunities for consumers to get better, cheaper and faster service but it is hard to tell just when the vertical will collapse in on itself and get snapped up by a single provider.