UrbanSherpa, New Zealand’s first on-demand delivery service which launched in Auckland in June, has announced a second capital raising to help fund its expansion to other main centres.
Following its initial $750,000 capital raising in February this year, UrbanSherpa has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign seeking a further $750,000 (20 per cent of equity) with a minimum raise amount of $300,000 (9.1 per cent of equity).
CEO Brian Dewil says more than 3,500 Auckland residents and 20 businesses have registered to use the one-hour, $12 flat-fee delivery service in the firm’s first four months of operation.
“The internet - and smartphones in particular - have helped create an on-demand economy where online shoppers want it now.
“Our unique blend of an Uber-style smartphone app, attractive pricing and can do attitude has really struck a chord with Auckland shoppers and retailers. Now that we’ve established a base camp of sorts, we need to push on and, to do that, we need more capital.”
Similar services overseas usually focus on a single market, such as fast food deliveries. However Mr. Dewil says Aucklanders are embracing UrbanSherpa’s versatility – including the ability to pay for purchases via the firm’s app - and are using it for a range of tasks including grocery shopping, urgent document delivery, dry cleaning pickups and clothes shopping. Auckland’s Pullman and Sky City hotels are even using UrbanSherpa to provide a concierge service for guests.
The new capital will allow the firm to invest in three critical growth areas, says Mr. Dewil.
“Our immediate goal is to hire more UrbanSherpas and expand our footprint in Auckland, and then to Wellington and Christchurch. Allied to this is significant marketing investment to drive user acquisition and new merchant partnerships.
“Finally, we need to keep advancing our app and back-end technology platform to improve the user experience, and allow integration with our merchant partners’ e-commerce systems to provide a seamless experience for all.”
A key strategy for the firm is to establish exclusive partnerships with retailers and other businesses to provide its one-hour delivery service by bicycle, car or van. To date it has signed deals with twenty firms including Burger Wisconsin, Mexicali Fresh, Nosh, Dunkin Donuts and Frucor, as well as menulog.co.nz which represents more than 500 restaurants nationwide.
UrbanSherpa’s existing shareholders include Mr. Dewil as well as directors Rob Campbell (Chairman), Christina Domecq and Peter Hodge. The offer is being led by Foundry Innovations as the cornerstone investor.
UrbanSherpa’s equity crowdfunding campaign is being hosted by leading platform Snowball Effect and closes on 28 November.