Today at its SOMA office in San Francisco, Postmates announced an API that will allow other firms to leverage its network of courier. TechCrunch reported yesterday that the news was forthcoming.
The company has become normcore in markets like San Francisco for helping overly-paid yuppies to avoid leaving their apartments.
Need new sheets and a burrito? The company will bring them to you. I can say that with certainty, since I have bought both via Postmates. The company has grown quickly; according to its CEO, Bastian Lehmann it has grown 10-fold every year since its inception.
Lehmann, better known as Basti, told the assembled group this morning that there are now 6,000 delivery people on its network. The executive also announced that his company completed its 1 millionth delivery this week.
The firm noted in a blog post that Everlane, Curbside, MeUndies, L., Threadflip and Betabrand are its initial API partners.
In short, Postmates is betting that its platform is better than its own offering of that platform, which it jokingly noted is mostly used for delivering food. A slide, shown during its event, listed healthcare, office supplies, catering and fashion as potential verticals. More simply, Postmates has partnered with a number of people willing to do odd jobs in 18 cities across the United States, and is going to help other companies that want a same-day delivery system utilize its crew.
Think of Postmates as the Amazon Prime for the ‘now’ sort of delivery. Two days is just fine on books and socks, but less good when you need an iPhone 5 charger, three tacos, and ibuprofen delivered to your office in about an hour.
It will be interesting to see if Postmates’ API users actually come up with options that are separate from the usual food and alcohol deliveries that it has become known for. If so, the company could become much larger. As a luxury service, its current scale could be blunted by a weak economy and the like. Whether Postmates could, via partners, take on Instacart and Homejoy is a different question.
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