PopBox, an Indonesian startup that produces automated parcel lockers for last mile ecommerce deliveries, announced today it received a round of seed funding of an undisclosed amount from local VC firm East Ventures. The funding will support the company’s expansion of its locker network in Indonesia, as well as go toward developing more product features.
Still not clear on the concept? Basically it’s just like Amazon Locker, but for the Indonesian market. Essentially, PopBox is a physical locker for your ecommerce packages to land in after last mile delivery. The terminal, which looks like a vending machine covered in pop art, provides a self-service delivery location to pick up and return packages.
“We took the ‘home’ out of ‘home delivery’ in order to make it even more convenient for customers and merchants alike,” PopBox’s co-founder Adrian Lim tells Tech in Asia. “By placing PopBox lockers at popular locations throughout Jakarta, customers get to pick up their delivery faster and at lower cost compared to having it delivered to their home, when they may not be around to receive it.”
It makes sense for the Big Durian
PopBox’s logic is actually pretty sound for a city like Jakarta. For many online shoppers, arranging for a parcel to be delivered to their home may end up being more of a hassle than a convenience. Because courier services mostly make their delivery rounds in batches, shoppers sometimes spend all day waiting by their door, with no clue about when the parcel will arrive. In countries like Indonesia, if you’re not there to sign for the package, it’ll go back to the post office — and in Jakarta, that’s usually an abyss you don’t want to venture into.
Merchants also face delivery challenges. Traffic situations in the capital make delivery times unpredictable. They also face inefficiencies in having to spend time clearing security checkpoints, making their way up high-rise buildings, or dealing with rejected parcels. Often, home addresses in Indonesia are not clearly marked, which is a headache if you’re trying to deliver something.
“We have traditional B2B warehousing business in Jakarta, and we wanted to explore how we could play a part in the growing ecommerce scene in Indonesia,” says Lim. “I believe Indonesia alone should have a market potential of several thousand locker touch points.”