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Courier startup Sendle just signed a major deal with eBay

Sendle CEO James Chin Moody. Source: supplied

Sendle, the Sydney-based startup that’s a growing challenger to Australia Post in parcel delivery for small business, has just signed a major deal with online marketplace eBay.

The integration deal lets sellers link their eBay account to the Sendle service, which offers door-to-door delivery at lower prices.

Earlier this year, the company hired eBay’s former head of shipping, Apurva Chiranewala, as head of growth and began targeting ecommerce retailers after signing a deal with label business ReadyToShip.

Founder and CEO James Chin Moody said that since the NRMA-backed business launched in November 2014, it has completed one billion kilometres of carbon neutral deliveries and enjoyed two years of growing at 20% a month.

A year ago Sendle raised $5 million in Series A funding and has since funded its growth out of cash flow.

The business also won a two-year trademark dispute with Australia Post, which tried to block the startup from registering the slogan “Post without the office” claiming it was “deceptively similar” to its own trademark.

Moody says there is “huge pent up demand” for an alternative to Australia Post and saw Sendle as a champion of small business.

“We can do door-to-door cheaper than lining up at the post office,” he said.

Moody said his business approached eBay early on, but it was “such a lofty goal” and conceded they weren’t quite ready.

“The integration with eBay is all about doing it property. I’m glad that we waited until we were at the scale we are now to do that,” he said.

“Our entire ethos is to help small business thrive and Ebay is an amazing platform for that. It’s fantastic in terms of offering sellers the ability to open up a store quickly and start selling things.”

To lure customers to try the service, Sendle is giving away the first 25,000 deliveries to the eBay sellers for free.

While Moody won’t be drawn on potential customers numbers, it’s likely the business is expecting to draw more than 500,000 deliveries annually from eBay, adding to Sendle’s existing customer base, which is believed to be more than 50,000.

“We think Sendle’s inclusion on eBay helps both sides of the market because it saves time for the seller with out pickup services and on the shipping side it saves them money and they get the product more quickly,” he said.

Moody is also offering eBay sellers free access to Sendle Premium, which normally costs $10 per month, which offers a $1 discount on standard pricing. Sendle charges $6.95 for 500g satchels. A 2kg parcel from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast costs $9.95.

The company does not have contracts or minimum shipping numbers.

eBay’s Australian director of small business and shipping Amrita Blickstead said sellers consider shipping one of their “biggest pain points”.

“The integration with Sendle is designed to remove some of this friction, and will allow our 40,000 small to medium sellers to be more efficient and sell instantly without being locked into a contract or a minimum spend,” she said.

While Moody positions his business ahead of the arrival of Amazon, which he says “will completely change the market”, he believes the US giant, with its own massive delivery network, isn’t a direct competitor.

“We don’t pretend we’re there for the big companies. We won’t stop until Sendle is the choice for small business in Australia and we know it’s a huge, vibrant and rapidly growing market,” he said.

Moody said the company’s current strategy it to continue to partner with ecommerce businesses. Over the past year Sendle has inked deals with Neto, Shopify, Etsy, Hard to Find and Carousell.

“The best way to grow is to partner with companies that have that shared ambition of helping small companies,” he said.

eBay sellers can check out the Sendle offer, including the free first parcel here.

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