Swiss Post has acquired a 51% stake in the start-up “notime” – a technology company providing bicycle courier services - for an undisclosed amount.
notime offers same-day delivery, even within a few hours. Express and same-day delivery is a growing delivery segment in Switzerland.
"Providing fast and eco-friendly delivery will give us a key competitive advantage." - Dieter Bambauer, Head of PostLogistics.
Swiss Post sees same-day as a niche that will develop into a relevant market in the foreseeable future. Customers, especially those living in urban areas, increasingly want to receive the goods they have ordered on the same day.
What's cool about notime?
It's tempting to dismiss this acquisition as a post acquiring technology. Let's see what cool things notime has been up to:
Mini-hubs and Amazon Dash
notime worked with tobacco company JTI to get e-cigarettes into stores quickly. Mini-hubs were set up in Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lucerne, Geneva and Lausanne. Amazon Dash buttons were placed in 63 independent kiosks, and can be used to order replenishment of JTI products at the push of a button. Pressing a product's Dash button automatically generates an order. A notime driver then receives a notification, picks up the requested products in a notime mini warehouse and brings the order to the kiosk.
notime started out delivering food, before expanding into e-commerce delivery. notime is the delivery partner for "Betty bringt's". Aimed at lazy cooks, customers can order food up until 2:30pm for evening delivery or pick-up. Deliveries can be tracked in real time.
Fancy same-day collection from a pop-up PUDO point at a train station? Well, notime has a piece of that action too. It has partnered with Swiss train operator SBB to offer same-day delivery to PUDO points at train stations in Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Winterthur.
Project with ... Swiss Post!
Swiss Post has previously worked with notime. notime developed an e-commerce platform that automates everything from placing an order to route planning and same-day delivery. Goods ordered online through notime are delivered to the customer’s front door via bike courier.
So is it a good deal?
It looks like a mutually beneficial arrangement. Here's what I think could happen thanks to this deal:
- Same-day delivery will be available to Swiss Post's nationwide "access point" network.
- Swiss Post will be able to offer e-commerce merchants a fuller suite of delivery options.
- Swiss Post will benefit from notime's start-up mentality.
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