Spanish startup GOI Travel has filled a niche for fast and reliable intercity delivery of everything from food, furniture and pets, to, in one memorable instance – wedding rings left behind at a bachelor party by a hapless groom.
GOI Travel was set up in Madrid in September 2015 as a C2C service after founder Yaiza Canosa Ferrío, while relocating from Galicia to Barcelona, saw a gap in the transport market for a cheap, fast and reliable intercity delivery service.
Over 1,000 kilometers from home and craving the delicacies from her native Galicia, the 24-year-old found that even when transport options were available, the service was often expensive and items arrived damaged. Far better to ask friends or relatives for a favor when they came to visit.
From little things, big things grow; GOI Travel has since developed into a specialized last-mile transport solution for businesses and personal goods alike. In Spain, entrenched difficulties associated with urban mobility mean last-mile costs can account for up to 28% of the total delivery price. Unreliable and expensive transport and delivery services remain a major obstacle to the growth of e-commerce in Spain, where just 10% of all purchases made in 2017 were done online, according to mobile delivery service app Citibox.
Meanwhile, a Tipsa survey of Spanish companies offering online sales found 72% of Spanish e-commerce shoppers say delivery is an important factor in their purchase decision. This compares to the growth of the global parcel delivery market – which has been driven largely by e-commerce – and rose from US$310 billion in 2016, to US$350 billion in 2017, according to research by consulting firm Amex Insight.
In this landscape, GOI Travel’s arrival on the market was timely. The on-demand logistics platform was initially designed to connect travelers and couriers to customers with delivery needs for specific destinations. However GOI Travel has also provided a solution to last-mile delivery problems. The company’s fleet management software uses an algorithm to increase the efficiency of transport allocation and routing by 40%, enabling optimization of the carrier’s productivity and costs as well as an improved customer experience.
GOI Travel’s technology also enables it to operate without auctions and to offer a guaranteed minimum price. By combining the carrier’s app with mobile devices, clients can track the dispatch and delivery status of their item in real time. GOI Travel also offers an additional assembly and installation service for bulky items such as furniture and appliances.
From community to business
Emerging as it did from the collaborative economy, GOI Travel initially found itself transporting an array of items that included baby’s cribs, furniture removals, pets and food. The infamous case of the forgotten wedding rings, for example, saw the valuable items transported 866 kilometers from a hotel in Benidorm where the bachelor party had been held, to the wedding in Ponferrada in record time.
As GOI Travel has developed, it has positioned itself in three niche areas – bulky, urgent and fragile objects. Under the steady guidance of Canosa Ferrío – who is an experienced entrepreneur with three startups under her belt despite her young age – and co-founders Alberto López Ganan, a senior technician in computer applications development, and David Segura Guillén, an informatics engineer specialized in online marketing, the company’s growth has been faster than expected.
In its first eight months of operations, GOI Travel gained 40,000 users including 27,641 unique users, according to Spanish crowdfunding platform Einicia. The company delivered 2,920 parcels and published 23,430 routes - results comparable to those achieved by Blablacar in its first full year of operations, according to Einicia.
GOI Travel (“goi” is Vietnamese for package) obtained further support from two high-profile entrepreneurs: Carlos Blanco, the 2014 winner of Best Entrepreneur of Spain for Expansión and Ifema and of Best Business Angel in the AEBAN Awards, who is a member of the Board; and Vincent Rosso, co-founder and former General Manager of BlaBlaCar Spain and Portugal, who now acts as GOI Travel’s chairman.
In November 2016, GOI Travel launched a B2B business line and quickly closed major deals with companies including IKEA, Correos and Somilar, which saw the benefit of being able to integrate GOI Travel’s technology into their own systems. This new market propitiated a change of strategy and logo from July 2017 as the company evolved into professional transporter with more than 130 carriers working exclusively for it. The company also began to specialize in transport of bulky packages in different cities.
Having mobilized the use of big data to offer specialized services in Madrid and Barcelona, GOI Travel plans to extend its services to cover all of Spain and major European cities including London, Paris, Berlin and Rome, in a model that could be compared to that of Uber. It is also targeting Latin America, and will double its staff to 50 by the end of 2018.
GOI Travel has also headhunted new talent, amongst which the hire of Alfredo Pérez – formerly manager of Amazon Europe Logistics and co-founder of Effort and Talentwho, with more than 15 years experience in logistics in the United States – stands out. He joined GOI Travel as strategic development and logistics network manager in February 2017.
According to the European Commission, 30% of the parcel transport market in Europe is unserviced – a gap GOI Travel could fill.