On-demand delivery startup Postmates is expected to announce the release of an API tomorrow that will enable third-party sellers and apps to offer local delivery via its couriers. Once adopted, the API could drive a lot more volume for the company, as it potentially introduces Postmates to a large group of new customers through its partners.
The API, which we’ve been told will be announced at a meeting for press and “special guests” at Postmates’ new San Francisco headquarters, will mark the next step in the evolution of a company by allowing third-party partners to offer local deliveries to customers through their own apps and websites.
We first saw Postmates offer this type of functionality through a partnership with Everlane that allowed local buyers in San Francisco to choose from a limited selection of goods and have them delivered within an hour. While it was originally supposed to be a one-month trial in just that city, Everlane Now is still going strong and has been expanded to New York City as well.
With the official launch of the API, Postmates is expected to announce new partners who will unlock local delivery in markets where the company operates. That includes the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Austin, Miami, Orange County, San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, Washington D.C.
By partnering with Postmates, third-party sellers will be able to improve customer service by offering instant gratification when a local customer is buying from them. Rather than having to wait two days for a package to be delivered via post, Postmates can have their goods to customers within an hour.
The partner initiative is being run by Holger Luedorf, who joined Postmates to run business development over the summer. Luedorf had previously served as head of business development at Foursquare, where he worked with local merchants as well as national retailers on partnerships for that startup.
Of course, Postmates isn’t the only on-demand logistics company that’s looking to become a sort of API for local delivery. DoorDash, which also got started in the food vertical, is pitching itself as a delivery and logistics company, not just a food delivery startup.
And then there’s Uber, which has experimented with various different types of delivery and certainly has built the logistics infrastructure to support it.
For Postmates, however, delivery is a core competency and right now it looks like the largest player in the market. And by offering up delivery outside its own apps and website through its API, the company could become even bigger.
Postmates, by the way, declined to comment for this story.