Self-funded startup to global market entry, Hubbed’s growth story


David McLean, founder of Hubbed

David McLean, founder of Hubbed

Small Business

By Loren Webb

From a self-funded startup to a booming pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) parcel network that is capturing local market share, Hubbed is launching in nine overseas markets and has created a challenge for global entrants. 

Since Hubbed launched in 2014, the network has grown to more than 2000 locations, has captured significant market share, has launched in New Zealand, and is about to expand to nine overseas markets, including The Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

With a background in both the technology and retail sector, Hubbed founder David McLean recognised that newsagents, once the centre of local communities, were declining.

Why couldn’t newsagents remain a central community hub by giving people a new reason to visit – that is, via parcel collections?

He put his own savings into kick-starting Hubbed, which included hiring three staff members and developing a multi-service technology for newsagents. In the first year, Hubbed onboarded 300 newsagents across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Moving into logistics

Hubbed then began approaching logistics companies to utilise the technology. A significant problem that logistics companies were experiencing was having no place to leave parcels if they couldn’t be delivered. Hubbed fine-tuned its technology to make it parcel-collection centric and skewed to carriers. Its first client was Couriers Please in 2015, when the Hubbed network was at 500. It was at this point that Hubbed began to take off.

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  • In 2015, Hubbed brought on DHL. That same year, it attracted investment from Singapore Post. The investment enabled Hubbed to refine the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of its PUDO network over two years and expand its network of carriers and locations.
  • In 2017, Hubbed also partnered with TOLL. In 2018, it brought on Sendle as a client, and partnered with Pack & Send to expand its network further. Last year, Hubbed began working with FedEx and UPS and brought Repco stores into its location network.

Launching overseas

Its partnership with Singapore Post has given Hubbed credibility in Asian markets. As such, Hubbed is about to launch into Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and The Philippines, where it will switch on 3000 additional network locations, to bring its total network size to 8,500 locations.

It is currently eyeing the USA, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia for further network expansions.

Growth in the Australian market

David says that even though Hubbed is growing overseas, the boom in online retail activity – especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic – has made significant room for further growth in the Australian market.

David said, “Hubbed was established in the Australian market at the right time.”

“Having grown our network from the ground up, we have remained the experts at managing PUDO networks – and we have been a big supporter of small, local businesses throughout our journey.”


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