Startup of the Day: YARD Delivery, an urban crowdsourced express delivery service

Startup of the Day: YARD Delivery, an urban crowdsourced express delivery service

YARD Delivery is an express delivery service between parcel lockers based on a crowdsourcing model.

Founders and startup team

Our team consists of six people, all of whom play an important role in the company's development:

1️⃣Oleksandr Korniychuk is the founder, with 10 years of experience in B2B sales in logistics and postal business development.
2️⃣Oleksandr Kuzmych is a co-founder with 9 years of experience in marketing and business strategies.
3️⃣Sergiy Tarasyuk is an engineer and Full Stack developer with experience in web application development.
4️⃣Denys Kovalchuk is a graphic designer specializing in brand design, UI/UX, and animation.
5️⃣Igor Kryshchuk - Data Analyst with 5 years of experience in traffic generation and data analysis.
6️⃣Inna Koretska is a PR manager responsible for advertising and brand awareness.
We have also engaged a separate ready-made development team working on the mobile app and admin panel, experienced editors, including the founders of Rocket Delivery.

What is the startup about

When we analyzed the express delivery market, it became clear to us that many people face high costs and a lack of convenience in this area. We developed the project based on the idea of solving these problems, in particular, the problem of interaction between couriers and customers.

Usually, this problem is that the courier arrives at the most inconvenient time for you, because sometimes it is quite problematic to agree on a convenient time for both the courier and the client. However, we have found a solution - we have integrated our platform with existing networks of parcel lockers.

This will allow users to choose the nearest parcel locker to receive and deliver parcels, as well as send a parcel from a parcel locker of one network to a parcel locker of any other. Our next step is to use crowdsourced couriers. This is a fairly profitable solution, as couriers will work on a free schedule, and even if they cooperate with another delivery service, they can deliver our parcels at the same time, providing themselves with additional income.

For the recipient, this is beneficial because of the lower delivery price, as we pay couriers not by the hour, but by the work they do. This way, we solve the issue of delivery costs and availability.

We also offer integration through an open API and plugins for online stores to provide convenience for our business customers.

What is the monetization model

We use a commission-based monetization model, where our profit is the money that users pay for delivery. We give part of it to the owners of post offices, part to couriers, and part to the company.

How long did it take you to create MVP? What mistakes did you make?

In total, it took 8 months to create the MVP. This time was spent on creating the service concept, choosing a location for testing, integrating with email networks, and starting work on the mobile application. The main mistake we made was positioning ourselves exclusively on the C2C market. However, after conducting a series of studies and negotiations with representatives of the e-commerce industry, we realized that the B2C sector has much greater potential and prospects for our service. Therefore, we will provide express delivery services for both C2C and B2C.

How did you come up with the idea to create a startup?

The idea to create YARD Delivery came from Oleksandr Korniychuk, who has many years of experience in last-mile logistics.

One of the main motivations for creating the startup was the desire to introduce a new approach to delivery that would be faster than current products, more cost-effective, and convenient for customers. We identified that current express delivery services have a number of drawbacks, including the problem of coordinating delivery times between the courier and the client, and adjusting one's schedule to suit the other party is not attractive.
Another problem is the high cost, as express delivery services usually maintain their own teams of couriers, which brings significant costs to companies. To implement our idea, we decided to use existing networks of post offices and couriers that work on the basis of crowdsourcing. The use of post offices will allow us to deliver orders at any time of the day and avoid direct contact between the recipient and the courier. Crowdsourced couriers provide fast (up to 2 hours) and low-cost express delivery within the city.

Who are your competitors, what are their achievements?

Our competitors in the express delivery market can be divided into the following categories:

  • Food delivery services. They have a different business model and create their own marketplace. They do not serve ordinary users and stores, unlike us.
  • Postal operators. The main players in the market. Usually, delivery times range from one to four days, and there is no fast delivery service or it is many times more expensive than usual. We offer much faster delivery at a price close to the cost of regular delivery.
  • Small local express delivery services. Bicycle and motorcycle couriers work there. Such services often do not have a mobile app, and their websites are inconvenient. At the same time, they are also more expensive than our service. The analysis showed that a significant portion of such delivery orders are made over the phone. In today's world, when almost everything is done via smartphones, we consider this approach unacceptable.

How do you assess the market for your product?

According to the European Commission, in 2022, about 10 billion parcels were sent in Europe, of which about 6 billion were sent within the city. This means that about 60% of all parcels in Europe are urban. Of these 6 billion, our service can cover at least 1%, which is 60 million parcels per year. 60 million parcels means approximately $400 million in turnover per year. We plan to reach these figures by the end of 2028.

Why now:

  • The number of people living in cities is increasing, and as a result, more and more deliveries are made within the city.
  • The number of online purchases is growing.
  • The number of parcel lockers and parcel locker networks is growing. There is a "boom" in parcel lockers, and their number will increase many times over the next few years.
  • Crowdsourcing - people have learned how to work according to this model (Uber, Bolt, Glovo, etc.).
  • Market demand - cheap express delivery is practically non-existent. Only the food segment is covered, and other goods are not delivered in this way.

How much money/time has been invested?

The active phase of the project has been going on for more than 10 months, and the idea was formed more than a year ago. We have already had an angel round of investment. The founder and two angel investors together invested $250,000 in the project. Now we are opening a seed round of investment, during which we plan to raise $800,000.
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