Zedify, one of the UK’s largest electric cargo bike delivery networks, has secured £5 million investment to expand its service, making it available to around 20% of the UK population.
The round was led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, with additional funds from original investors, Green Angel Syndicate, and new investors, Prova.
Zedify provides sustainable “first and last mile” deliveries using cargo bikes in city centres, where vans can’t operate efficiently and create congestion and air pollution.
The company’s clients include major retail brands, national parcel carriers and hundreds of local independent businesses across 10 UK city locations.
Research by Zedify shows that its service is more than 90% lower in carbon emissions per parcel than urban deliveries by electric vans, which highlights the importance of scaling cargo bike logistics to help the UK hit its net zero targets.
Following investments of £1.5 million by Green Angel Syndicate in 2020 and 2021, this new round of funding will enable Zedify to open new locations in Manchester and Birmingham.
It will also allow the company to scale its tech platform for maximum consumer and business benefits.
Rob King, co-founder and CEO of Zedify, said: “Zedify’s model delivers tangible benefits- significant carbon reduction in the last mile; a fairer system for workers which counteracts the gig economy; cleaner, safer deliveries that contribute to healthier, more liveable cities; and more choice for consumers about how and when they receive their parcels.
“It’s exciting to have the backing of new and existing investors to enable us to realise our mission to transform urban logistics and create cities that are truly better for everyone.”
Zedify was founded in 2018 by King, who had previously run a delivery business in Cambridge, and Sam Keam, who had a similar operation in Brighton.
They set out to make it the “go-to green solution for last-mile delivery in the UK”.
The company uses only directly employed staff who are paid a real living wage and, to encourage local ownership, its network includes both depots run by Zedify and franchises.
Gavin Chapman, co-head of Principal Investments at Barclays said: “We understand that the delivery and logistics industry will require significant investment over the coming years to align with the UK’s net zero targets.
“Barclays are proud to support Zedify in their goal to normalise the use of hyperlocal microhubs and zero emission delivery vehicles within UK cities.”
Zedify believes a rapid and sustained shift towards online shopping has severe impacts on sustainability and service quality.
Through its urban parcel delivery, the company is aiming to address these pressures head on.
Kiran Mehta, Investment Manager at Mercia, said: “Cargo bike delivery is a fast-growing market as councils seek to reduce congestion and pollution and consumers demand more environmentally-friendly solutions.
“Zedify sets itself apart from other bike delivery companies due to its unique business model and its rapid growth which has given it a ‘first mover’ advantage. The funding will enable it to make a step change in the business in the coming years.”
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The company uses “microhubs” at the edge of city centres to consolidate parcels, alongside software which builds efficiency and makes for considerably better outcomes for the climate and cities.
Mark Wilcockson, senior investment manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF supports innovative business in the Midlands, with this latest investment being a great example of the funds support to promote sustainability as part of the region’s aim to reach net zero targets.
“This latest investment in Zedify shows how the MEIF continues to support businesses in relocating and investing into the region with new headquarters, creating wider growth for the Midlands.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.