Walmart acquires last mile delivery platform

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Walmart acquires last mile delivery platform

By Dan Berthiaume - 11/23/2020
JoyRun screen

Walmart is continuing to strengthen its in-house capability to deliver online orders.

The discount giant is purchasing the talent, technology platform, and intellectual property of JoyRun, a Silicon Valley-based startup. JoyRun operates a peer-to-peer last-mile delivery platform which enables users to pick up and deliver items for friends and neighbors. 

JoyRun has built a network of more than 540 official retail partners, and more than 30,000 people have served as drivers or “runners” since the compny launched in 2015. According to Walmart, this acquisition allows it to further augment its delivery team and support ongoing efforts to explore more ways to deliver online orders in the future. 

In a LinkedIn post announcing the acquisition, Srini Venkatesan, executive VP of Walmart Global Tech, said that JoyRun runners could complement Walmart’s Spark program for independent delivery contractors, as well as third-party delivery providers such as Instacart.

Chief Walmart rival Amazon has been building up its internal delivery capabilities with programs such as the Amazon Shipping ground delivery service, Amazon Flex on-demand delivery platform for independent drivers, and Amazon Air proprietary air cargo service.

“We anticipate the deal to close in the coming weeks and look forward to welcoming the JoyRun team to Walmart’s supply chain technology team at that time,” said Venkatesan in the LinkedIn post. “We continue to offer more ways to serve our customers through delivery and pickup and this acquisition reflects our commitment to deliver how, when and where our customers need.”