Deliverwithme: Start-up that attempts to make your travel a little more rewarding
| by Priyanka Tilve
If you are a frequent flyer, then apart from the clocking air mile rewards, you can now also get free cab rides, coupons and goodies from brands. All you have to do is sign-up with Deliverwithme, share your flight details and deliver a parcel. While it may sound dubious, these are actually parcels belonging to leading e-commerce merchants that need to be delivered to the customer.
Co-founded by Anand Satyan, Rashid Dyussembayev, Baha Zhurkabayeva and Dauren Alipbayev - Deliverwithme takes a crowdsourced approach to resolve logistics issues faced by e-commerce delivery platforms. Crowdsourcing is a pretty popular concept and there are several platforms facilitating the same, be it the hospitality industry, logistics or retail.
How it works is you can sign-up with the platform and they will provide you with the package that needs to be delivered on your route. In exchange, you will be either paid cash or you will get coupons or some similar perks. Deliverwithme currently offers this service between four cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. So if you are flying from/to any of these cities, then you can provide them with your flight details and their manager will meet you at the airport to give you the package. Similarly, at the destination, their personnel will take the package from you and hand your reward to you.
Naturally, you must be concerned about security; what if the parcel has counterfeit or banned substances? Satyan is well aware of these doubts and they have an open-box policy where you will be able to see the contents of the package. Their box is basically an aggregation of small packages from multiple e-commerce sites. For smaller packages that can’t be opened, they provide valid bills and documents. The response has been overwhelming. Satyan admits that they had set modest targets initially, but were amazed by how many travellers were willing to carry packages. Most of them, he says, wanted to have this novel experience once, but he had many who signed up again. They also verify their travellers' credentials. In case of theft or loss of package, they provide partial or full compensation to the merchant after due diligence.
How it works.
In fact, thanks to the response, at one point they experienced a sudden spike in the number of travellers who had signed up, but they didn’t have enough parcels. And Satyan says that this is the challenge they need to tackle. He says, “We need to hit a critical mass to sustain. We will fail if there are too many travelers and too few deliveries. We fail again if there are too many deliveries to be done and we don’t have enough travelers. There has to be a balance; an intricate balance. We are reaching out to more ecommerce companies that have higher volumes to use our platform.”
As of today, they only deliver clothes, books, apparels and accessories. Their clients include Flinto, Buythoughts and Dogspot, and they have signed up a couple more. While it presents a cost-effective and super-fast mode of delivery for the e-commerce merchants, the customers benefit from the rewards. On the other hand, it helps their partners to acquire new customers. They are also experimenting with a sampling model, where they will give free product samples to travellers and get feedback. Many merchants have shown keen interest in this.
Currently, they are a team of ten operating in four cities. They have bootstrapped their way so far and plan to raise funds very soon. In terms of revenue model, they charge the e-commerce companies for deliveries, but at a lower rate than a courier company. They want to add new cities and are also exploring the possibility of tapping the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities through bus and train deliveries.
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