Google Buys Shipping Service BufferBox to Buoy E-Commerce
Google Inc. (GOOG), owner of the world’s most popular search engine, has acquired BufferBox Inc., a service for delivering e-commerce goods to physical kiosks.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. BufferBox, founded in Waterloo, Ontario, enables online shoppers to pick up parcels at grocery and convenience stores at any time in the Toronto area, according to its website.
“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,” Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mailed statement without elaborating further.
Google is stepping up efforts in e-commerce after announcing earlier this year it would transition its product- search feature to a paid commercial model in the U.S., requiring retailers to purchase space on its new Google Shopping service. Earlier this month it unveiled new features for the service, including enhanced images of some toys and a new way to compile shopping lists.
Google rose less than 1 percent to $698.37 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 8.1 percent this year.
For BufferBox, it will be “business as usual” for its existing customers, the company said in a blog.
The sale comes after Aditya Bali, co-founder of BufferBox, said in August he was in talks to raise money from top-tier venture capital firms. While the company didn’t really need the money, the funding could help it “go that much faster,” he said at the time.
“As online shopping becomes a bigger part of how you buy products, we look forward to playing a part in bringing that experience to the next level,” the company said in the blog.
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