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Softbank-backed Reef Technology to buy Israeli logistics startup Bond

Bond developed a logistics platform that allows e-commerce brands to manage their operations across the fulfillment chain

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Startups and Business editor and reporter.

Bond co-founders Asaf Hachmon, CEO (left), and Michael Osadon, CRO (right). (Courtesy)
Bond co-founders Asaf Hachmon, CEO (left), and Michael Osadon, CRO (right). (Courtesy)

Reef Technology, a Miami-based operator of parking, mobility, and logistics hubs across North America backed by Japanese multinational Softbank, announced on Thursday that it signed an agreement to acquire Israeli startup Bond, the developer of a logistics platform for the e-commerce industry.

Reef specializes in transforming underutilized urban spaces into neighborhood hubs that help people access locally curated goods and services. Founded in 2013, the company has an ecosystem of 4,500 locations and a team of 15,000 people, and describes itself as the largest operator of mobility, logistics hubs, and neighborhood kitchens in the United States. The company raised $700 million late last year.

Bond was initially founded in 2017 in Tel Aviv as Shookit, a direct-to-consumer grocery startup that delivered fresh produce to clients in the city within hours. The startup has since rebranded as Bond, and offers a software solution that helps small- and medium-sized companies gain full visibility into their operations and manage their storage and delivery processes.

The platform offers access to “hyperlocal” carriers and delivery partners, as well as spaces and facility management companies, to allow brands and operators to stock inventory locally. The solution is also compatible with popular e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify.

The terms of Reef’s acquisition of Bond were not disclosed, but Reef said in a statement that the move will “significantly bolster” its last-mile fulfillment capabilities across its entire network, in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. It also said that the agreement aligns with its “strategic vision of ‘connecting the world to your block,’ by enabling fast delivery across a vast array of inventory in fulfillment centers close to consumers.”

Michael Osadon, co-founder and CRO of Bond, told The Times of Israel in a phone interview that the startup sought to address the “biggest friction point” in direct-to-consumer services — last-mile fulfillment — and focused on end-user experiences in urban locations.

Bond raised $15 million last year with investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, MizMaa Ventures, and TLV Partners, and sought to “stay lean and mean and focused.”

The startup employs 22 people, a majority in R&D, and they will all become part of Reef’s operations, he said.

Bond had already been working with Reef for several years before talks of acquisition.

“About two and a half years ago, we thought the technology we developed should serve more people and we came up with white-label solutions for retailers. Reef was one of our providers in New York and we became a demand aggregator for them,” Osadon said.

Reef Technology founder and CEO Ari Ojalvo said in a company statement that “after partnering with Bond across a number of our locations we saw the enormous potential they could bring to the Reef platform, we were impressed by their team, and we felt aligned when it came to core values and a focus on urban delivery.”

“This acquisition will unlock the full potential that we saw so clearly in that partnership and gives us an ever-growing edge vis-a-vis providing the best possible fulfillment experience,” added Ojalvo.

“We’re thrilled to become part of a company that is the leader on three continents when it comes to providing a superior delivery experience that is accessible to all,” Osadon said in the stament. “Bond’s OS paired with Reef’s footprint, expertise, and scale is really a dream come true and will help countless businesses thrive amidst a rapidly advancing delivery standard.”

Reef Technology said that Bond’s acquisition will have an impact beyond the traditional realms of deliveries for restaurants, grocery chains, and other brands, and will tap into additional services such as mobile offices, barber and cosmetics services, fitness activities, recording studios, and e-scooter charging.

“Each service comes with its own unique considerations, whether the type of vehicles required, the time it takes to fulfill each service or task, and the volume of orders, all of which Bond’s tech will enable Reef’s platform to adapt to and optimize,” the company said.

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