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Startup review: Parcelgogo looking to crowdsource small deliveries

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Colin Pringlewood who  made his debut in the startup scene with the now defunct Tengasa.com has now bounced back with a new, interesting venture called Parcelgogo. In his words, Parcelgogo is a website that “attempts to crowdsource the delivery of packages around town”.

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The idea of crowdsourcing deliveries is not an entirely new one – at least on the global scale. The most prominent attempt at crowdsourcing deliveries was when Walmart announced that it was brainstorming around the idea to have strangers make deliveries on online purchases in return for Walmart vouchers or credits.

Parcelgogo’s attempt is different from Walmart’s plan in two areas. Firstly, Parcelgogo is open to everyone, business or otherwise. Colin’s plan is to see “people that are trying to sell something online not have to worry about the time and costs of setting up a delivery service as well”. parcelgogo_screenshort

Secondly, Walmart’s model was in way dependent on the “inherent goodness of man” but Parcelgogo does away with the “human benevolence risk” as it is looking at people who are already runners or at least small time couriers as their crowdsourcing pool.

Parcelgogo is looking for motorcycle delivery drivers/couriers who can sign up to the website. Once a job is posted to the system the nearest 3 couriers will get an automated email from the website saying that there is a new job in the area, once the courier gets this email he/she will have to sign into the website and accept the job, the first person to accept the job gets the job.

A number of international startups, including Zipments and Postmates also operate with pretty much the same model.

Parcelgogo handles packages not larger than 30 X 30 X 30cm in volume and deliveries are limited to Harare for now.

At this stage the monetisation model is to collect a commission from couriers each month on jobs received through Parcelgogo.

Parcelgogo is currently running a survey to gather some data on the service. This suggests that there may be early tweaks to the services as new information comes in or, keeping in line with the lean startup theory (now practice), the service may even be pulled down if the survey feed back is not promising.


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14 thoughts on “Startup review: Parcelgogo looking to crowdsource small deliveries

  1. Awesome – tengesa.com was EASILY the best mobisite in Zim. Glad to see you are back! This could actually become a major source of income for some. But what about legal implications POTRAZ have a licence for courier services – cost a few limbs. Have you checked to make sure you are clear of their radar? Would be a shame to get torpedoed by those guys!

    1. Hi Alu, was unaware of any implications with regards to POTRAZ, do you have any more information on that or know where i can find some?

  2. Great idea!! A lack of distribution network seems to be one of the biggest issues for e-commerce in Africa at the moment. Hope this works well

  3. Great idea. I often find myself sitting in traffic on the way to drop off a letter, a bill or a small package. I’d gladly pay a few dollars to avoid the hassle! Alu is right too – this could be a great way for taxi drivers or other couriers to pick up extra income.

  4. We are launching in the same space end of first quarter. Still sorting out some regulatory issues. Good to see other players come up, competition can be healthy.

  5. This sounds like a great idea – all the very best Colin we wish you all the very best and would be keen to explore some mutually beneficial cross promotional ideas. Joe

      1. This is a great idea indeed.
        A matter of little substance here. I wanted to take part in your survey only to be deterred by the request for my phone number. I think you should provide an option for those who do not want the free airtime but nonetheless want to take part in your surveys to be able to do so.
        All the best in this venture.

  6. a great idea , we looking at offering an efficient , reliable service , cutting out all the hassles of having to fight traffic, cross town and at the same time know your doc or spare is on the move …..keep me posted

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