Dublin's Answer To The Burning Question Of Last-Mile Delivery
It is the biggest question for retailers right now, and the hottest sector of real estate: last mile, how to get goods into the hands of customers in busy, dense urban environments.
It can be a particularly tricky question for retailers in Dublin, many of whom lack the IT and logistics infrastructure to meet demand for short turnaround deliveries.
As Brexit negotiations rumble on, many experts have said that Ireland needs to properly develop the logistics market as many retailers still rely on British logistics to deliver goods.
One home-grown company looking to provide delivery solutions to retailers and restaurants, WeBringg, is ahead of the trend as it expands its operations in Dublin, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
Founded in 2015, the company is the provider of Just Eat drivers in Dublin and promises same-day delivery services for retailers as well. The latter is a fast-growing part of its business.
Speaking of the same-day delivery idea, WeBringg Chief Executive and co-founder Sean Murray said it was born out of convenience and Christmas shopping stress.
“We were busy and we didn’t want to leave the office,” Murray said, laughing.
In the last two years, the company has grown and their 600-plus clients have become more diverse.
“We started off delivering goods for 20 different off-licences around Dublin, now we deliver everything from electronics to fast food to pharmaceuticals ...everything and anything within 90 minutes.”
WeBringg cuts out the need for individual retailers to support their own delivery drivers which many businesses would struggle to do if they didn’t have “an extremely busy” commerce website.
Operating in 11 cities across four countries, it is best known for its partnerships with Just East in Ireland and the U.K. and Menu Log in Australia and New Zealand; and Irish retailers Sam McCauleys pharmacies and Power City.
The firm is looking to expand because it feels there is a long-term need for a delivery service with quick turnaround times, with retailers in the grocery, fashion and pharmaceuticals sectors a growing part of this.
“We feel there is massive scope in those industries over the coming years particularly for same-day delivery for these goods.”
Not afraid to go up against the likes of Amazon Prime, Murray believes the company has the potential to grow despite the uncertainty around Brexit.
“The focus for now is to increase our geographical spread in the countries we are operating in. We see a further roll-out in Ireland, the U.K. and Australia,” he said.
Interest and faith in the company can be seen in its recent investment round, where the business received €650K in funding. According to Murray, this did not equate to the amount of interest from investors, one of which was Ergo CEO John Purdy.
“We could have doubled the amount there was so much interest. We plan to make our next round in November significantly larger,” Murray said.
According to Murray, the time has come for the last-mile logistics sector in commercial property terms. “I think people get the concept, they see where the market is going," he said. "Investors are seeing what’s happening in other markets, for example Amazon are seriously investing in fulfillment centres, as are Asos, who will probably have a fulfillment centre in every city with a population of over a million.”
In addition to entering new delivery markets, Murray said that an initial public offering is something the company “would love to work towards but ... there is nothing set in stone at the moment.”