Deliv Acquires Delivery Startup Zipments, Expands National Footprint

This week, Bay Area-based Deliv announced it has acquired Zipments, the same-day delivery and crowdsourced courier startup based in Grand Rapids, MI, and operating primarily in New York City. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The entire six-person Zipments staff will join the Deliv team but remain in Michigan.

Garrick Pohl, founder and CEO of Zipments, said Deliv is a major same-day delivery company on the West Coast. The company was looking to expand its presence in New York and elsewhere on the East Coast, which made Zipments an attractive acquisition. Pohl said Zipments works with New York brands, like B&H, plus roughly 30 retailers—Casper, Warby Parker, UrbanStems, and Plated, to name a few—that have flagship stores in other major markets.

The company, which was founded in 2010 in Grand Rapids, has a mobile app that connects couriers, retailers, and consumers for same-day delivery service. Local pickup requests are made through the Zipments mobile app or website, or by selecting Zipments during the check-out process while shopping online with participating retailers.

Zipments delivery requests are then automatically dispatched, based on the mode of transportation and amount of time needed to complete the delivery, through its app to a network of couriers. After Zipments acquired Hobson last year, customers gained the ability to request one-hour or three-hour deliveries and track the status of those deliveries in real time.

With the acquisition of Zipments, Deliv now provides same-day service for nearly 4,000 clients nationwide: marquis brands, on-demand companies such as Casper, local merchants, and large corporate clients who need to send packages across town.

Pohl said the deal came about after Deliv and Zipments began discussing a partnership over the summer, as Zipments hoped to expand West and Deliv wanted more customers in New York. However, it soon became clear, he said, that an acquisition made the most sense. Zipments will continue to operate as an independent entity for a few months before the two merge and “some sort of rebranding takes place early next year,” he added.

“The experience for customers will stay the same,” Pohl said. “We’ve proven the demand for fast and flexible delivery within the hour, and there’s now a large market for on-demand delivery. Through their experience with Amazon, customers are familiar with getting things fast and easy. But we’ve learned it takes a massive amount of resources to support large online retailers, so I think we’ll start to see more consolidation of companies [in the delivery sector].”

Pohl said despite its distance from New York and San Francisco, Michigan ended up being a great place to start his business. “A large amount of our investment came from Michigan,” he said. (The company closed a $2.2 million seed round in 2013.) “You’ve got the technical talent here and the capital to help a company grow.”

Pohl is looking forward to tackling some of the logistical challenges Zipments was facing with Deliv’s expertise and resources. “It’s going to be an interesting couple of years in the delivery business,” he said. “I can’t think of a more thrilling ride.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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