Yet-to-be-launched startup, QikPod founded by serial entrepreneur Ravi Gururaj, has raised $9 million in funding led by eCommerce firm Flipkart and VC firm Accel Partners with participation from logistics service provider Delhivery and Taiwanese electronics vendor Foxconn. Gururaj had previously founded companies including VMLogix Inc and SQA Technologies Pvt Ltd.
The startup will offer locker services that will be installed at receptions and lobbies of apartment buildings and offices as well as in retail outlets such as coffee shops and grocery stores. This is primarily to cater to the online shoppers who finding waiting for their orders a hassle, and re-delivery attempts are also a cost to the logistics companies.
The service is currently free to consumers as well as for locations that wish to install a locker and the company plans to install 50,000 lockers across the country.
The raised funding will be used to build a nationwide network of fully automated lockers, build team and focus on technology innovation. The lockers will reduce the hassle of re-delivering couriers when customers are not physically present. The reduction in delivery communications, failed delivery attempts and consolidation of deliveries and routes will have a positive reduction in carbon footprint of courier companies as well.
In addition to offering customer convenience, QikPod will also offer increased security & safety in the courier/delivery process and substantial cost savings overall.
In October, courier company Blue Dart Express also introduced a similar service in Gurgaon. Amazon itself operates Amazon Lockers in the US and UK and tried to apply this concept in India through the Amazon Pickup programme that allows consumers to collect their parcels from selected locations.
Here is a video which shows how Amazon locker delivery works: