Consider it a David versus Goliath story for home delivery services.
You order food and home items on an app on your phone, and a bike delivery person comes to your door with the goods with no boxes, no plastic bags, all recycled containers, and zero waste.
Compare this to Amazon or many of the other retailers who drive to your house with plastic bottles in a box, inside another box.
The little company taking on this model is called “The Rounds,” and they just received a Series A funding round to the tune of $38 million to expand their services.
Alex Torrey, The Rounds’ CEO and founder, conceived the idea when ordering a plastic bottle of soap from Amazon and thinking about the amount of waste in the transaction.
The company started small in 2019, offering 150 items in four cities (Atlanta, DC, Miami, and Philadelphia) with a small staff that included full-time delivery people instead of gig workers.
Beyond the obvious lack of boxes and plastic is the concept where the company gets its name.
If you leave your empty bottles and containers outside your door, your delivery person will take these back for reuse.
Now, four years later, The Rounds offers over 650 common items and that number is continuing to grow.
Torrey is investing heavily in AI to predict reordering time for The Rounds’ clients with orders showing up on a schedule to keep customers’ pantries full without even having to log on and place an order.
There is a long way to go until David slays the giant, but the concept seems to be getting some attention and the new round of funding will help it grow outside the four cities it currently serves.