Last-Mile Specialist Bond Raises $15M For E-Commerce Delivery Platform
Last-mile delivery and distribution company Bond, which was formed last year, has obtained $15M in a funding round.
Lightspeed Venture Partners, MizMaa Ventures and TLV Partners were the main investors.
Bond's niche is delivering packages for smaller online retailers that are trying to compete with megacompanies like Amazon or Walmart. Toward that end, the company is setting up a network of what it calls "nano distribution centers" in empty urban storefronts, parking garages or basements, with electric tricycles to make deliveries.
The in-city storage concept was created for shipping perishables, according to Bond, which has online retailers like Wild Alaskan Co., which sells fresh, wild salmon.
But the nano-based shipping infrastructure isn't confined to that kind of goods, the company said.
Bond said its system also facilitates direct communication between the deliverer and the customer, to better remove the uncertainties of delivery timing. Using the company's system, customers can choose delivery times.
Package distribution via electric cargo bikes is an up-and-coming technique to try to address the challenges of last-mile delivery. In New York, the city unveiled a program toward the end of 2019 specifically to promote that kind of delivery.
Under the new NYC program, about 100 cargo bikes are allowed to use existing commercial loading areas, with a long-term goal of reducing the traffic snarls and pollution caused by standard-sized delivery vehicles, The New York Times reports. Major e-commerce and shipping companies are participating, including Amazon, DHL and UPS.
Online retailers are also struggling with the challenge of obtaining distribution space in an urban context. Much space is either unfit for even smaller distribution centers, or it makes more business sense to redevelop it into another use all together, such as residential space.