After a hectic end to 2014, delivery companies will only now be starting to recuperate. The hype of Black Friday and rush of Christmas meant the businesses were running at full capacity for much of November and all of December.
Now, in a move to secure its future, DPD is launching a new accelerator dedicated to the delivery industry, in partnership with tech fund L Marks.
Last Mile Labs is calling for applicants for an eight-week programme that will see ten teams each receive £12,500 in initial funding.
The accelerator is open to both early and growth stage startups who, depending on performance, will have access to an additional £100,000 in funding at the end of the programme. Startups will set individual targets which their performance will be judged against.
Talking about the accelerator, DPD CEO Dwain McDonald emphasised the importance of tech to the deliveries giant.
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“We need fresh thinking and new people,” he explained.
“That’s what’s so exciting for me, and why Last Mile Labs is so refreshing. If it means we innovate faster, customers like it, we retain our customer base and a competitive advantage on all other parcel carriers – great result.”
Last Mile Labs is looking for startups across the following four categories:
- Doorstep Smiles – develop the world’s best final mile delivery experience
- Closely Connected – using the parcel receiver’s data, develop an interactive interface
- Operational Efficiency – using historic and current delivery data plus predictive trend partners to identify cost savings and efficiency
- Wild Card – any innovative product or solution that enhances last mile delivery experience and which isn’t covered in the other categories
Accelerators are accelerating
The delivery accelerator further cements the increasing popularity of industry specific programmes. In 2014, London saw the launch of property, wearables, fintech, marketing and internet of things accelerators.
Blue-chip corporations have increasingly also been getting in on the startup scene, hoping to capitalise on the innovation within London’s tech community to help their own businesses to flourish.