Google has snapped up BufferBox, a Canadian firm that operates a network of storage lockers where people can receive deliveries when they’re not home.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Bufferbox has a network of storage lockers in the area around Toronto. Users sign up for the service and then provide a BufferBox shipping address to online retailers.
Parcels get delivered to the lockers, and users retrieve them with an access code sent via email. The locker can then be used for someone else.
The purchase could help Google expand its e-commerce business, though rivals including Amazon.com already have similar services.
BufferBox is free until the end of the year, though the company eventually planned to charge $3 or $4 per delivery, according to a newspaper that was briefed on the deal.
BufferBox will continue to build out its service under Google, startup announced at the end of last week. Google confirmed the deal but didn’t provide details, including how much it paid. It was reportedly an investor in the company, and its regional office is upstairs from BufferBox’s headquarters.
“We want to remove as much friction as possible from the shopping experience, while helping consumers save time and money, and we think the BufferBox team has a lot of great ideas around how to do that,” Google said.