Imagine a mail service where you write a name on a letter, and it finds the person — wherever they are.
Year-old San Francisco startup Shyp is trying to do just that, making sending a package to someone as easy as typing in a username.
“The new experience is that you’re just sending to another person,” said the San Francisco startup’s CEO and founder Kevin Gibbon.
The main caveat: The recipients must sign up for a Shyp account and fill out their address before their username will be available for address-free delivery. If they’re not in the system, the sender still has to manually enter the address.
When recipients create profiles — like if the USPS had a database of where everyone lived — they get control of where a package is being sent, rather than letting the sender dictate an address that might be wrong or out of date. (Think about all the mail that is forwarded or returned because of the wrong address.) They will be notified that a package is heading their way, can change the address its shipping to, and track it from within the app.
The idea is to give recipients a little bit more control over where packages are being sent. If you normally accept packages at work, but your parents ship you a set of golf clubs, you can change it to arrive at your house instead.
Gibbon founded the startup in 2014 to make shipping easier than standing a post office line. Shyp’s couriers pick up items, photograph them, then box them up and ship via the traditional methods, like FedEx and UPS. But eventually, Shyp wants to take complete control of the delivery process, providing the delivery person as well.
“You can imagine a day when we rethink the delivery experience. It’s super transparent, super flexible, with some preferred time windows,” Gibbon said. “This is the first experience to get the receivers as users of our product.”
For Shyp, where packages are being sent is also a good indicator of where the company should expand to next and where it has density to deliver packages.
Gibbons hinted of a day when Shyp only sends packages via FedEx between its warehouses, then uses a fleet of couriers on the ground to deliver the package. That’s when building a username and profile becomes important because your package could be changed at the last-minute to be delivered at your work instead of your house, he said.
“We’re kind of alluding to, in the future, we’d like to own the entire shipping experience,” Gibbon said.