United Parcel Service is among the investors contributing to a $28 million Series B investment round for same-day delivery service Deliv.
Deliv is a crowd-sourced delivery service that contracts with drivers who use their own cars to deliver products sold by Deliv's retail partners.
UPS said in a statement that its Strategic Investment Fund invests in companies with innovative business models and that it expects “further insights into the market dynamics of same-day delivery” through its investment in Deliv. And Deliv CEO-founder Daphne Carmeli told Retail Dive that the funds from this latest round will go to expand its tech capabilities and fuel its growth and expansion nationwide.
Deliv is notable in part for its partnership with department store Macy’s, which employs the service to move same-day deliveries and returns in 17 markets nationwide, and now for this interest from UPS. The service has also partnered with malls.
Carmeli told Retail Dive that its approach of partnering with retailers and malls sets it apart from same-day delivery services like Postmates or UberRush, which caters to consumers who want items immediately, sometimes within an hour or two.
Deliv instead plugs into a retailer’s stable of delivery methods. It offers the ability for consumers to schedule deliveries during a window of time when they’ll actually be home, so that they can receive their package rather than a “sorry we missed you” notice on their door, Carmeli emphasizes.
“The value of retail delivery is predictability,” Carmeli told Retail Dive, and not so much immediacy.
Carmeli has long been adamant that her business is not simply “the app,” a nod to a comment last year from FedEx chairman-president-CEO-and founder Frederick W. Smith, who rejected the notion that crowd-sourced ride service Uber should frighten him because "I think there’s just an urban mythology out there that the app somehow changes the basic cost input of the logistics business or changes the circadian patterns or the underlying business situation, and that’s just incorrect."
But Deliv’s proprietary technology is important to its task of finding appropriate drivers, plugging into that retailer demand stream, and scheduling deliveries, and the new funding will go to continually improve its algorithms, Carmeli said.
“We continue to focus, as we did when we started, not on the consumer play, not the app, not selling anything, but on picking up and delivering. We plug directly into the demand stream and that’s always been our model. Once I’m there, when I expand, all [retailers] have to do is plug zip codes into their database, and we’re live," Carmeli told Retail Dive. “In one sense, we’re an enterprise software company."