Google Buys BufferBox, Wants to Handle Your Package

Despite being called the search giant, Google is doing much more than just serving web queries these days. Besides helping to make smartphones, tablets, operating systems and even acting as a full internet service provider, Google has taken the first step in becoming a shipping company with the acquisition of BufferBox.

If you haven't yet heard of BufferBox, you still may be familiar with the company's product concept. Amazon has been rolling out shipment lockers in various retail stores across the U.S. and UK. The service allows customers to have their packages shipped to these lockers rather than to their home. BufferBox provides a similar sort of service, but it's open to everyone – not just a specific retailer.

BufferBox is a Waterloo, Ontario startup operation born out of the Communitech Hub facilities, one of the top startup houses in North America, and was founded by Jay Shah, Mike McCauley and Aditya Bali. We visited their offices on Monday and BufferBox was hard at work in a University of Waterloo-funded space called VeloCity Garage. The acquisition will see BufferBox into Google's local offices, but it won't be a far move as – believe it or not – Google's Canadian offices are located on an upper floor of the same building.

Close proximity likely played a role in Google's purchase of BufferBox, but whatever exposure it gave the startup, the location also allows the new parent to keep an eye on the development of its acquisition. Then again, perhaps BufferBox would have garnered attention regardless of where its roots were. The BufferBox team went through the famed Y Combinator program in Silicon Valley and made the conscious decision to return to Canada to launch their business.

BufferBox has already rolled out its "smart mailboxes" at major transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area. In the short term, the company plans to expand its operations to 100 locations in the GTA and Hamilton – where its sorting facility is – by the end of 2013.

Where BufferBox will go next is wherever Google decides to take them.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • drwho1
    That title sounds... so ... Wrong....
  • masterasia now when I order a Nexus phone, I won't have to worry about it getting stolen off my porch steps.
  • Why do I want to drive to a store to pick up my package. If I did I wouldn't be ordering it online.
  • ccovemaker
    If I let Google handle my package the misses might get jealous.
  • voiidwulf
    Seriously? "Let us handle your package." Somebody was drunk when they created that motto...
  • bennaye
  • ko888
    hydac7The kite is not casting a shadowIt is but just not in the camera's field of view. Did you see how long the shadows are for the two people? That means the sun is low on the horizon so the kite's shadow would be well out of the camera's view based on the height that the kite is "flying".
  • xanagu88
    Stay the hell away from my package
  • bustapr
    drwho1That title sounds... so ... Wrong....i read "google buys butterbox, wants to handle your package", such wrong thoughts flew in my head.
  • stonedatheist
    drwho1That title sounds... so ... Wrong....
    ccovemakerIf I let Google handle my package the misses might get jealous.
    bustapri read "google buys butterbox, wants to handle your package", such wrong thoughts flew in my head.
    +1. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who had dirty thoughts come to mind lol