Deliv signs up 20 new U.S. retailers for same-day delivery

(Reuters) - Deliv Inc, which uses contract drivers to deliver online orders from stores and malls for a fee, said on Thursday it is partnering with twenty new U.S. retailers including Nike and Bed Bath & Beyond as demand for same-day delivery surges.

Deliv handles last-mile delivery to homes and businesses, for malls and retailers like Walmart Inc, Macy’s Inc, Kohl’s Corp and Best Buy Co Inc.

The delivery company, which uses independent contractors to deliver packages in 1,400 cities around the country, recently raised $40 million in a new round of funding from investors.

Demand for same-day delivery has spiked during the holiday season as more shoppers wait until the last minute to purchase gifts. Retailers also hope to use the service to push their online grocery offerings and as a convenience to time-strapped consumers.

Deliv serves traditional brick-and-mortar retailers with contract drivers using Uber-like crowd-sourcing technology as more retailers use their stores as distribution centers for online orders. The strategy allows them to compete with the likes of Amazon Inc, which offer delivery in as little as an hour.

Deliv Chief Executive Officer Daphne Carmeli said more retailers are signing up for same-day delivery, but noted that even several years ago retailers offered it in markets that generated more online orders and the practice was economically viable, she said.

“We are approaching 50 percent of the U.S. population,” Carmeli said, referring to the people who can receive same-day delivery.

She said 55 to 60 urban markets around the country can support an efficient same-day delivery service and the company is already in 35 of them.

Deliv is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with Alphabet Inc’s Google and United Parcel Service among its investors.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe