Dubai based startup Fetchr has raised Series A funding worth $11 million led by New Enterprise Associates and participation from Delta Partners, Dhabi Holdings, Triple Point Capital, Ben Narasin, Roland Berger and 500 Startups, reports the Wall Street Journal. Fetchr will use the funds to launch its mobile app on Android and iOS and product development.
Like Uber sends its drivers to the exact location from where its users would like to get picked up, the Fetchr app uses the GPS coordinates of a user’s smartphone, which are sent to the drivers for pickup or delivery of items, instead of giving traditional street addresses and eliminating the need for phone calls and directions. It also makes do without the traditional street addresses and zip codes, which are crucial for many retailers to ship, especially in emerging countries.
Real time tracking
Merchants or users who want to send a package can click a picture of the item they want to send and choose a pickup time, after which a driver is dispatched to the user’s phone’s location. Real time tracking is also enabled in this. For users receiving packages, a notification is generated through the app where they can choose a delivery time, sending a notification to the sender once it is delivered.
Our take: The only hurdle we can see in this that the user will need to be physically present when the pickup is made. For delivery, users could get their packages delivered anywhere since the Fetchr driver will be able to access the user’s location. Otherwise, it looks like an amazing idea.
Shipping and inventory management
The company claims that it can handle anything from mail to furniture for pickup and delivery and can even pack the item on the user’s behalf. With this, it also offers an online inventory management system for merchants, offering same day delivery and returns (a thing which has not yet picked up in India: same day returns)
Fetchr app to track, chat and send location
The Fetchr for business app notifies users when their delivery is accepted by the driver, users can then chat with the driver within the app and track the status of the delivery. Fetchr claims that payments can be made through the app, eliminating the need for or cash payments. Fetchr for business does, however, offer cash on delivery (COD) as a payment method in the Middle East, where it claims that over 80% of its ecommerce deliveries are done using COD. It counts Visa and Mastercard as its payment providers.
Fetchr claims to make same day deliveries, and states that the merchants are charged only once the delivery is complete. Its initial delivery charges start at ~$10 (~ Rs 610) for 3 kg peer-to-peer one off shipments for standard next day delivery.
A Vator News report states that Fetchr currently delivers around 2,000 packages a day, out of which 85% packages are purchased from Fetchr’s customers like Groupon and Sony among others. The report claims that Fetchr has about 130 clients for whom it provides delivery logistics. It claims that Fetchr employs around 130 drivers.
The WSJ report stated that co founders Joy Ajlouny and Idriss Alrifai specifically had markets like the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, India, Indonesia and other parts of Asia in mind to make deliveries using e-commerce and technology.
Image Credit: Fetchr Blog