eBay Acquires UK Startup Shutl To Change The Ecommerce Game With One Hour Delivery

eBay has announced an agreement to acquire Shutl, the UK-based marketplace that uses a network of couriers to deliver local goods within a couple of hours of an online purchase. Terms were not disclosed.

The company was founded by Tom Allason the founder and former CEO of eCourier.co.uk in 2008. Allason was unavailable for comment, but we understand from sources that he is pretty happy with the deal…

Shutl raised a total of $8.69M form UK Angels alongside Hummingbird Ventures, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, e.ventures and Notion Capital.

The acquisition comes on the heels of the Click & Collect trial Shutl started with UK retailer Argos. Ebay says there is now an intention to expand eBay Now into London using Shutl’s infrastructure. eBay Now is a service available through iPhone, Android and desktop web that allows shoppers to have products from local stores, delivered in around an hour.

shutl-logoeBay President Devin Wenig said at a media event in New York that “approximately 75 percent of what people buy is local, found within 15 miles from their home” and that “Traditional retail isn’t going away. But it is transforming, and that creates enormous opportunity within the $10 trillion total commerce market.”

Only last month eBay launched its “Click & Collect” service in the UK, where shoppers can buy goods from eBay online and then select a physical retail location where they can be delivered. It also said it was bringing its same-day delivery option, eBay Now, to the UK, but it didn’t say how.

Post acquisition of Shutl, now we know.

Instead of having its own couriers, as old Dotcom Boom startups like Kozmo did, Shutl creates a marketplace from the capacity of local courier firms and uses retail partners’ local stock to fulfill purchases. It then integrates with all major dispatch software and retailers’ existing technology. The service operates 24/7 in 50+ towns across UK with a ‘virtual fleet’ which adds up to thousands of couriers completing untold deliveries every day.