How I did it

This startup wants businesses to be able to deliver to your door within an hour

Broede Carmody /

A Melbourne startup has launched with the aim of offering a one-hour delivery service for retailers and other businesses.

Swift, a new on-demand delivery and courier service, is now available in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The business turns over around $100,000 per month.

Swift was born out of Liquorun — an after-hours alcohol delivery service. Liquorun was launched in July last year by former Melbourne Football Club players, specialising in delivering liquor to homes in inner Melbourne within two hours.

Since then, Liquorun has branched out to include boutique fast food. Founder of both Liquorun and Swift, Joel Macdonald, told StartupSmart Liquorun was used to test the market and “give us an understanding of the niche” before launching a much more broader on-demand logistics startup.

“Now Liquorun is an e-commerce platform and Swift is the engine that powers it behind the scenes,” he says.

“When you purchase on Liquorun, Swift takes care of the logistics from there. Now we’re talking with a number of retailers nationally and internationally about integration.”

Macdonald says Swift is all about embracing the trend towards instant local delivery, and came about because the Liquorun team constantly asked themselves how they could provide more value to the customer.

“It’s a platform that seamlessly connects local stores with a fleet of crowdsourced delivery drivers – or ‘runners’ as we call them – that enables these stores to deliver their items in under an hour,” he says.

“We’re still keeping Liquorun, but now we’ve evolved into a big serious business that is more scalable and probably more investable as well.”

Swift will be able to compete with traditional courier services because it will be faster and more affordable, according to Macdonald.

“Shopping online is very convenient until it comes down to accepting delivery of the item,” he says.

“You know where you’re going to be in the next 60 minutes but you don’t necessarily know where you’re going to be the next day. Everyone’s time poor.”

The startup was one of five companies to recently secure funding from BlueChilli’s $10 million venture capital fund, and is in talks with a number of US retailers.

The Australian courier market is worth approximately $1.2 billion annually.

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Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is a former senior reporter at SmartCompany. Previously, he was a co-editor of RMIT University's student magazine Catalyst.

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