Google purchases alumni startup BufferBox

First appeared in The Record on December 2, 2012

Google has acquired a small startup founded by University of Waterloo students that provides pickup lockers for online shoppers, in an apparent move to compete with the Amazon Locker package service.

bufferbox teamBufferBox Inc. was launched in 2010 by Mike McCauley, Aditya Bali and Jay Shah while they were at the University of Waterloo.

Google, the search engine giant, announced Friday that it has purchased BufferBox for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition was announced on the BufferBox website.

“We are happy to share that it will be business as usual for our users and we are looking forward to continuing to build out our service,” the three founders said in a statement.

BufferBox sets up kiosks with lockers at central locations where online shoppers can have parcels delivered. The shopper signs up for a BufferBox locker and sends it to the online merchant. The parcel is then sent to the locker and picked up by the shopper using a one-time code.

The company’s first kiosk was at the Student Life Centre at UW.

BufferBox, which has 10 employees including the founders, recently announced a deal to supply kiosks to GO Transit stations.

The acquisition means BufferBox employees won’t have to move far. Both BufferBox and Google have offices in the Tannery building in downtown Kitchener.

Google issued a statement Friday saying, “We want to remove as much friction as possible from the shopping experience, while helping consumers save time and money, and we think the BufferBox team has a lot of great ideas around how to do that.”