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Walmart To Acquire JoyRun Assets To Offer ‘Peer-to-Peer’ Item Delivery

After JoyRun raised $10 million in Series A funding in March 2017, the Redwood City, CA-based startup has another good news. This time, the peer-to-peer delivery platform became a member of the Walmart family after the retail giant purchased choice assets to boost the company’s supply chain.

In a statement, Walmart announced that they acquired exclusive assets, particularly the IP, technology platform, and talent from the company in its quest to incorporate its peer-to-peer delivery assistance in their logistics.

According to Walmart executive vice president Srini Venkatesan, the JoyRun app managed to gather a massive network composed of 540 different third-party merchant partners and more than 30,000 people who work to deliver various items since the launch of the startup five years ago. The public can credit the success of the app to its innovative services that are far different from the common delivery apps, including Uber Eats and Seamless.

Based on previous reports, the JoyRun app allows its users to find people nearby who are on their way to a restaurant they want to order in, then ask that person to order for them and have it delivered on their doorstep. If the nearby “Runner” chose to accept the request, they will pick up the order and deliver the goods for a fee, or decide to be a good Samaritan and do the service as a favor. The Runners are also given a choice to waive the fee for a certain group of community members. But even if the Runner decided to waive the delivery charge, the app users can still give them a tip through the app.

It would be interesting to know how Walmart will use this concept in their existing operation. But it seems like the retail chain will rely on the members of JoyRun’s network to deliver items to the users, including groceries and other products they sell in their stores.

The system would most likely work like the Amazon Flex, which uses a similar delivery approach utilized by Lyft or Uber. It means anyone with a vehicle can choose to deliver items within their specific vicinity. But Walmart has yet to reveal how Runners can qualify to deliver their goods to the app users who will order items from this platform.

In his statement, Venkatesan also said that this new acquisition would reinforce their team and their existing efforts to look for more means to deliver their products to their customers in the coming days. For example, the company could find a way to help the Runners supplement their ongoing SPARK program and its current third-party delivery service providers. As a result, it will help them deliver the goods in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

The retail chain is expecting to close the deal to add JoyRun in its team of Supply Chain Technology “in the coming weeks.” However, the exact details about the deal between the two parties are still undisclosed as of the moment.

More updates about the upcoming Walmart and JoyRun partnership are expected to come out soon.


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