Summary:

When e-commerce start-up Shutl announced £500,000 of VC funding last month, nobody knew exactly what it was. But now we do: the company –…

Tom Allason, founder of Shutl

When e-commerce start-up Shutl announced £500,000 of VC funding last month, nobody knew exactly what it was. But now we do: the company — founded by eCourier founder Tom Allason — launched at Le Web on Wednesday morning and is an aggregator of courier services designed for small, local businesses. The company claims its service, which is added to shoppers’ online baskets as they make an order with the cost split between buyer and retailer, will deliver items within 90 minutes of purchase — or within any other 24 hour window after that.

Shutl keeps lists of local courier services and chooses what it deems the best one for each deal based on price and availability. The pitch to retailers is that it’s fast and cheaper then general courier services, but as Allson told me in a briefing last week, it’s not pitching to Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) and eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) quite yet: “There is always this question of how retailers starting selling online — we are focusing on those very small retailers… We have a proposal for those (e-commerce giants), but that isn’t as appealing right now.”

Allason says the company will be seeking more funding at some point next year, either in Q2 or Q3 next year, and in the long term he’s planning UK-wide and international expansion.

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By Patrick Smith

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