UK book swapping company is looking for a delivery solution under a services agreement

REQUEST from United Kingdom, reference: BRUK20191104003, valid from 04-11-2019 untill 05-11-2020

  • Start date:
    4 november 2019
  • End date:
    5 november 2020
  • Summary:
    The London-based company is a customer-to-customer digital marketplace for people to swap physical books. The company has already successfully launched in Estonia and is now preparing to launch the product in the UK and in Finland.
    The company is a low cost service for everybody to find and easily get any kind of physical book from the second hand market. It is looking to partner with parcel delivery companies in Europe under a services agreement.
  • Description:
    The London-based company operates in the digital marketplace sector. It is a customer-to-customer service that allows people to swap books with one another.
    Customers have to create a profile on the platform and then offer the books that they no long need on the marketplace, so that it can be visible to the other users. Each book ordered from the user gives them the right to choose a book from other users. If you cannot find the book that you are looking for, you can add it to your wish list, and, if anyone offers this book, you will be notified. If someone orders a book from you, you would need to post it to the nearest parcel terminal or parcel shop, the orderer will pay for the delivery. When you pass an order, the book will arrive at the packing point you specify. The book that you have collected is yours, and you do not have to return it. But you might consider putting it back onto the platform after reading it. You can pay a one-time fee for a swap or a long term subscription for multiple swaps.You do not need to pay for the books themselves as this is a swap, you will have to pay the subscription fee and the shipping fee when ordering. The main advantage of the platform is that you can turn your old books into new ones without having to cut down a single tree.

    The London-based company is looking for a delivery company active in Europe that provides C2C parcel delivery services. The company would need to be reasonably priced and convenient.

    The collaboration would be a services agreement, under which the delivery company would send their API or enable an automated connection to their system so that customers are able to choose the most suitable parcel delivery option as well as pay directly from the UK company's marketplace.

    The parcel delivery company would receive a confirmation from the London-based company's platform and would then execute the delivery to the address/parcel shop. The parcel delivery company would send monthly invoices to the UK company for all of the deliveries executed in one month periods.
Partner Sought
  • Type of Partnership Considered:
    Services agreement
  • Technical Specification or Expertise Sought:

    The London-based company is looking to partner up with a parcel delivery company with good coverage in European countries, providing the C2C parcel delivery in competitive price range.

    The company offers a long term partnership with a memorandum of month-on-month growing amounts of parcels. In Estonia, more than 130,000 parcels have been delivered within the period of 2 and a half years. Approximately 5,000 parcels are delivered in Estonia at the moment and bigger amounts are expected in European countries should the company be able to scale in different European countries.

    The ideal partner is a parcel delivery company that has a good coverage in any countries in Europe and that is able to enter a long term partnership with the London-based company.

    The company would need to be able to deal with amounts of around 30,000 parcels and more per month. The delivery company would also need to be able to send out their API or to have a way to automate the connection to their system so that the choosing of the suitable parcel delivery option and payment can be done directly on the London-based company's marketplace.

    SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250

  • Development stage:
    Already on the market
  • IPR Status:
  • Market keywords:
    Other leisure and recreational products and services
    Other consumer products
  • Technology keywords:
  • NACE keywords:
  • Advantages and Innovations:
    The London-based company is an innovative sharing-economy solution to more efficiently use the resources (physical books) standing uselessly in people's homes. As the company has managed to create a simple and fast digital marketplace for people to easily give away and get new and used books, they are essentially building the world's biggest and most convenient library, changing the whole book industry and traditional library landscapes.

    The company does not have competitors at that scale or similar services in UK. There are some other smaller local players with different models (e.g. physical book swapping points or book clubs) in some other EU countries and in the US, but these are not scalable for global expansion.

    The company has developed a deep understanding of this market. They have spent more than 2 years testing and examining how people are willing to swap books and what they are wanting from such a service. The company also knows how to deal with the delivery aspect– how to solve and prevent the possible obstacles and user experience issues.

    The company currently has 24,000 registered users and has swapped 137,000 books since 2017.
  • Type and Size of Organisation:
    Industry SME <= 10
  • Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation
  • Year Established:
  • Turnover:
  • Country of origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Languages spoken
    • English
    • Estonian
    • German
    • Finnish