With fresh venture captial Urb-it is about to roll out its service outside of Sweden. The Swedish courier service did a soft launch in Paris last weekend.
Urb-it started its business in Stockholm’s city center during last year’s Christmas shopping. They are now taking the next step just in time for the one year anniversary. Founders Mats Forsberg and Bror Anders Månsson did a soft launch in Paris last Saturday with French pastry cook Ladurée, which is world famous for their macaroons, as partner.
“So now we’re 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”, Co-founder and CEO of Urb-it Mats Forsberg says.
The delivery service works like this: The customer buys the merchandise in the merchants’s web store. While making the purchase the customer can pay an extra fee for an Urb-it delivery in Stockholm’s city center. A so called “urber” will courier your item within an hour.
What happened with the launch in Copenhagen?
“We might launch there later next year, but it might also be another city. We’ve just decided to launch in Paris and London so far. We will decide which cities will be next in the first quarter of 2016”, Mats Forsberg says.
Urb-it will not stand without competition on its coming markets. For example the San Francisco-based company Postmates, which is valued at almost $500 million, is also launching its service in London next year, according to Techcrunch.
Urb-it made a new issue of shares in October to finance the expansion abroad and raised $1.8 million. The company has raised $7.2 in total since the start.
As previously reported by Breakit (article in Swedish), the company is backed up by a number of famous Swedish financiers, among them Erik Penser, Erik Mitteregger, Lars Irstad and Gerald Engström. Apart from current shareholders, newly founded fund Zenith Vencap invested in the latest round.
The greatest challenge for the company has been that the e-commerce companies technical platforms has not been ready to be connected with Urb-it.
“There is a mixed maturity regarding how well the dealers can integrate their in-store sales with their e-commerce. But we have developed some plugins this year which makes it significantly easier for them to get started with Urb-it”, Mats Forsberg says.
Between 40 and 50 clients have joined the service so far. “Bibliotekstans” Christmas campaign Urb Christmas launched last Tuesday. You order your Christmas gifts from stores around Biblioteksgatan (a street on Östermalm, Stockholm) and have them delivered to a location of your choice on Christmas Eve. Next week the company will also go live with campaigns for Media Markt and Waynes Coffee.