Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the deal closed on September 29.
Founded in 2013, Parcel is a “last-mile” delivery platform designed to help ecommerce companies get their goods to customers’ doors. It operates around the clock, delivering packages in scheduled two-hour windows, overnight, or on the day an order is placed.
The online / offline retail war has taken an interesting turn over the past few years. After edging into groceries and other household goods, Amazon laid down the gauntlet to brick-and-mortar rivals such as Walmart when it announced it was buying supermarket chain Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal.
Walmart has been bolstering its ecommerce credentials, too, and acquisitions are also playing a key part of its strategy. Last August, Walmart confirmed it was buying online retailer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash, and Walmart has since snapped up online clothing retailer Shoebuy for $70 million, active outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million, women’s online fashion retailer ModCloth for an undisclosed amount, and mens clothing brand Bonobos for $310 million.
Parcel launched in New York back in 2014, and it hasn’t expanded into other markets yet. It had only raised around $2 million in seed funding — so it’s unlikely Walmart paid crazy money for the startup. Indeed, Walmart stated that the acquisition price was “smaller than previous acquisitions we’ve made this year,” which suggests it was less than $50 million, and it was likely significantly less.
In terms of what Walmart has in store for Parcel, well, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it plans to use Parcel’s platform for last-mile deliveries in New York City, covering “general merchandise” as well as “fresh and frozen groceries” from both Walmart and Jet.
However, Walmart is seemingly keen to continue serving Parcel’s existing clients, as well. “Parcel has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery, and ecommerce companies, and has delivered more than 1 million meals in the past two years,” Walmart said in a blog post. “So our immediate plan is for Parcel to continue serving its existing clients and growing its customer base.”
*An earlier version of this article stated that Walmart had made five acquisitions in the past 14 months including Parcel, but Parcel is actually the sixth. We’ve now included March acquisition ModCloth in the updated list of Walmart acquisitions.