Mountain View, California – It seems that Google is seriously busy amassing startups to boost its commerce product portfolio. Google in its hot pursuit made an interesting new acquisition that suggests it may be attacking Amazon’s shipping business. The latest startup to join the Internet giant is BufferBox, a business that promises to “solve the problem of failed parcel deliveries.”
Essentially, Google this week acquired the Waterloo, Ontario-based operation that enables consumers to be able to have their packages shipped to physical lockers owned by BufferBox for pickups anytime for an undisclosed sum, the Web giant has confirmed.
Thus, BufferBox, founded less than two years ago, promises consumers that they will never miss a delivery again this way, a parcel storage and pickup service similar to Amazon Locker. The company furnishes users with a temporary lockers where they can retrieve packages they order online. The Canadian startup could help Google build out its e-commerce efforts.
Detailing the move, a company mouthpiece said, “We want to remove as much friction as possible from the shopping experience, while helping consumers save time and money, and we think the BufferBox team has a lot of great ideas around how to do that,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
According to various media reports, Google forked out around $17 million for the locker storage provider, although the terms of the deal were not revealed. Thus, perhaps this could poise the search engine giant as a serious competitor to Amazon Locker, a service that allows buyers to pick up a product at a locker unit rather than receive it at their home or office.
On the other hand, BufferBox is a cubicle that can be installed in local venues around the nation for self-service parcel pick-up. In other words, if BufferBox becomes popular, you could walk into your local CVS and pick up a package you ordered from an online merchant.
Going forward, the BufferBox team confirmed the merger on the company’s blog on Friday. The startup’s executives did not reveal any more specific details, but they did include a few hints:
We are excited to announce that BufferBox has been acquired by Google!
We have been able to achieve more than we could have ever imagined since we commenced working on our idea a couple years ago, and the team could not be more excited about the future. As online shopping becomes a bigger part of how you buy products, we look forward to playing a vital part in bringing that experience to the next level. We are happy to share that it will be business as usual for our users and we are looking forward to continuing to build out the service.
Amazingly though, it has been an incredible journey and we would like to thank everyone who has played such an important part in enabling us to make it this far. We could not be happier to be able to continue building out our vision within Google.
In fact, Google has been evidently focused on building out shopping and commerce-related products with some notable purchases lately – most recently coupon marketing firm Incentive Targeting. However, this is a product – not a talent – acquisition. BufferBox will continue operating within Google.
“We are going to keep doing BufferBox,” Google engineering director Steve Woods informed Financial Post. “We are not going to go into great detail about our future plans, but we think there is a real exciting space beyond this amazing start with boxes, and the idea of touching consumers as part of their end-to-end experience is something we are going to explore together. I do not think we would say even definitively what it is going to be, but we are going to do some great things together.”