People in France can now arrange online for their neighbours to receive their parcel deliveries, and earn money for receiving others’ parcels, after a French entrepreneur created a new specially-designed app.
Welco was founded by Romain Barreau after he finished university. He hit upon the idea after taking in a parcel for his neighbour at Christmas time, and after hearing news stories of thousands of parcels not arriving at their final destinations as a result of people not being at home to receive them.
He told FranceInfo: "I came up with the idea of Welco at that time, saying to myself that there are an enormous number of consumers every year who end up chasing our parcels after buying something online, and we inevitably have a neighbour available around us when we are not."
Mr Barreau and his business partner Mathieu spent two years developing the website and app, which now counts more than 30,000 ‘Welcoeurs’ as its members.
Image: en.welco.io / Screenshot
The app states that each individual Welcoeur can earn up to €250 per month simply for taking in their neighbours’ parcels, and that “each parcel collected saves up to 1kg of CO2”.
The app is now used by many online stores and delivery companies, who integrate it into their service to avoid them having to attempt costly redelivery two or three times.
Instead, individual users can indicate the neighbours who would be happy to take in parcels when needed, or sign up to take in others’ deliveries too.
Having launched last year, Welco helped to deliver 100,000 parcels in its first 12 months, rising to 500,000 this year so far. The service is especially popular in rural areas.
The founders initially funded the app themselves, but have since managed to raise additional finance to grow the service even further.