Belgian start-up innovates with car sharing-like package delivery
Hytchers is a delivery system that takes advantage of people’s daily commutes. Like car-sharing, but with packages. “We work with geo-location algorithms that establish connections between the driver’s commute and the path the package needs to take to reach its buyer”, founders Antoine Dessart and Jonas Douin say.
“The solution is durable because we are an alternative to normal delivery companies and we limit traffic, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of road transport”. The two young entrepreneurs have created Hytchers in July 2016, one month before their graduation in management at the Liège University.
Final testing phase
“We are starting the last testing phase that we launched last march”, explains Antoine Dessart. “Until now we worked with a small community of one hundred drivers and fake packages. Now we will work with real packages bought on a specially created e-commerce website and this summer we will test this service with 10 different real online companies. Finally, in September we will launch the app in all Belgian cities.”, he adds.
To help with delivery points and to attract drivers the two founders of Hytchers signed a partnership with Total offering them access to the group’s 528 service stations. Hytchers operation is simple: drivers or “hytchers” subscribe to the program via the app and are alerted when a package needs to be picked up in a Total service station and driven to another Total station.
Drivers are then paid in fuel points depending on the number of packagers delivered and kilometres driven. They can spend these fuel points in any Total service stations. For example a package transported from Liège to Brussels will be paid the equivalent of 7 to 8 euro in fuel credit.
Launch in September
The two young entrepreneurs are currently working on multi-year partnership with Total and are raising funds. “We should raise 500 000 € with investments from ‘business angles’ and institutional investors”, adds Antoine Dessart.
Last October they raised 160 000 € thanks to “business angels” and W.IN.G (numeric Walloon funds). Once those two steps are taken, Hytchers can be launched in all major Belgiancities in September. The Belgian start-up recently indicated its worldwide ambitions in a press release in witch, together with Total, it said that “the model could be particularly interesting for trans border shipments”.