Google buys BufferBox for $17 million, may be invading Amazon’s e-commerce territory

It turns out that Google (GOOG) really did make a significant acquisition this week after all, if not one that’s related to becoming a wireless carrier. Per TechCrunch, the Mountain View-based company on Friday acquired e-commerce company BufferBox for $17 million, thus giving Google a potential presence in a market that has long been dominated by Amazon (AMZN).

BufferBox is a nifty solution for people who receive a lot of important packages but who aren’t often home to sign for them. Essentially, users choose a nearby location that hosts BufferBoxes where they want their packages delivered. BufferBox then gives them a PIN that they can use to open the box and retrieve their package at their own convenience. Think of BufferBox as a sort of Zipcar for shipping packages, but instead of “wheels when you want them,” you get an on-the-spot storage locker that you can use however often you need it.

On the official BufferBox blog, the company said that its mission would largely stay the same now that it had been acquired by Google and it would continue to focus on helping consumers get packages at convenient locations. So basically, this acquisition seemingly means that Google is looking to get more into the online shipping business that has long been Amazon’s bread and butter.

“As online shopping becomes a bigger part of how you buy products, we look forward to playing a part in bringing that experience to the next level,” the company wrote. “We couldn’t be happier to be able to continue building out our vision within Google.”


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