MTR Lab and Cyberport have made their first co-investment in alfred24, a Hong Kong-based logistics technology start-up based in Hong Kong.
The amount of funding was not disclosed, but a media statement says that as a result of the co-investment, alfred24 plans to double its presence in Hong Kong to over 2,000 locations, expand its business into the Greater Bay Area, and launch into at least one other Southeast Asian country by 2025.
The firm provides a logistics solution that allows shoppers to buy online and collect their parcels at pick-up points with smart lockers.
The co-investment results from a strategic alliance that MTR Lab and Cyberport established in June 2022, which aims to expedite advancement opportunities in the region's innovation and technology sector and contribute to the development of Hong Kong into a smart city.
MTR Lab, as an innovation investor, is working with Cyberport, Hong Kong's digital technology flagship, to select and invest in high-potential start-ups from within Cyberport’s ecosystem that suit MTR’s business needs.
According to MTR Lab managing director Michael Chan, alfred24 provides a solution that will change the e-commerce logistics landscape by cutting time, costs and carbon emissions out of the commercial delivery cycle.
"Traditional e-commerce logistics requires the equivalent of 17 CO2-emitting vans per 1,000 deliveries, while alfred24 requires the equivalent of just four," says Christian Secci, co-founder and chief executive officer of alfred24.
“With our innovative parcel lockers, residents can soon shop until 8 p.m. and collect their parcels as early as 8 a.m. from any convenient alfred24 collection point along their daily commuting journey, reducing the need for daytime deliveries and cutting 13 vans for every 1,000 deliveries."
The start-up will also invest in sustainable solutions such as battery and solar-powered Bluetooth lockers to optimize its technology, enhance user experience and reduce carbon emissions related to last-mile delivery by 70%.
Founded in 2014, alfred24 (formerly Pakpobox) operates a network of 9,000 pickup points in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy and Brazil, and has offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Milan, Bologna, Melbourne, Jakarta and Sao Paolo.