In October Urb-it made a new issue of shares to finance their expansion into the courier business and raised $1.8 million. The company has raised over $7.2 million since the startup.
Founders Mats Forsberg and Bror Anders Månsson did a soft launch in Paris last year, “So now we are delivering macaroons to consumers in the city. We are testing the model, recruiting staff and expand continuously as we bring in new merchants. We will launch in London during the first quarter next year. The expansion has gone according to plan so far”, says Forsberg. However, this new collaboration with Volvo will take things to a whole new level.
Björn Annwall, the Senior Vice President Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Car Group, had this to say about the new delivery service. “We understand the value of the In-car Delivery service we have developed. We’ve all had phone calls at work from delivery people trying to deliver packages to our homes that need to be signed for when there is no one home. With our In-car Delivery service, we effectively turn your car into a delivery location and assign a one-time digital key to the delivery person, effectively eliminating delivery failure.”
So how does it work? By using the smartphone application and clicking the buy button, Urb-it automatically deploys workers; mostly students and other part-time employees) who get paid per delivery and you can use geo-location and availability to pick your own personal 'urber'.
You always know the name of the person that is making the delivery, and once the 'urber' receives your order on their mobile device, they collect the items at the shop by presenting a unique order code on their phone. Then within two hours you will have your order delivered to your vehicle, and by using Volvos digital key technology, it allows the vehicle owner to grant one-time access rights to their vehicle.
“It is really quite simple, which is what makes it so effective. You shop online from an urb-it enabled store and simply choose to have the shopping delivered to your Volvo. This can be at a pre-determined time that suits you, or as quickly as possible. You can follow the collection and delivery process on your mobile device if you wish, or just wait for confirmation of delivery. If the package is not delivered in less than two hours, delivery is free,” said Björn Annwall.
The Volvo delivery service is only currently available in Stockholm City for an initial trial period. However, they are looking to expand to over 200 cities worldwide by 2025.
Of course by 2025, your vehicle will just drive itself to the store and someone will drop the groceries in the trunk, and it will drive back home.
Also published on Medium.