Meaningful Business (MB:) Please tell us a bit about your background.
Rob King (RK:) Back in 2005, while looking for a new challenge, I launched a small business in my hometown of Cambridge using cargo bikes to make deliveries for local businesses. As we grew, and the e-commerce boom really took off, I quickly realised that the way deliveries are done in cities would have to completely change to have a realistic chance of meeting the overlapping challenges of climate change, air pollution, and building thriving liveable cities.
In 2018 I formed Zedify with my Co-Founder, Sam Keam, which is the next stage in that ambition. We’re both on a mission to bring a better delivery experience for our customers and some great outcomes for the cities in which we operate.
MB: Please introduce your business and the problems you’re trying to solve.
RK: We can all see that the traditional delivery model isn’t working. More and more vans clogging up our cities, while emissions continue to increase, is no longer acceptable and you only have to look at the well documented poor experience many consumers face with their delivery options.
We’re building a system for deliveries that is fit for the future and better in all ways; zero emission by default with no offsetting, a customer experience that is intuitive and flexible and an ethical model with real living wage employed riders.
As e-commerce and home delivery continue to boom, Zedify is a proven, scalable model that enables businesses to deliver a great service for their customers in a responsible way that can meet the needs of customers without choking up our cities or adding to carbon emissions.
A Zedify zero-emissions vehicle on Brighton pier.
MB: What is your biggest challenge right now and what support do you need?
RK: We have a small but amazing team who have been working flat out building Zedify to what it is today. We’re growing quickly and we need more great people, motivated by our mission, to help realise our ambitions. That’s more riders keeping our customers happy with a great doorstep experience as well as specialists in sales, marketing, operations and tech to help our growth into more cities and improve the customer journey.
Delivering to Brighton Bier – Brighton’s original craft brewery.
MB: What is your ambition for the future of your business?
RK: Our vision is to bring smart, consolidated zero-emission deliveries to all of our cities so that, in just a few years time, electric cargo bikes will be as commonplace on our streets as dirty polluting delivery vans are today. The result? Cities that are how we would wish them to be – safer, cleaner, quieter.
A small Zedify bike.
MB: What is your advice to other leaders who want to combine profit and purpose?
RK: Mixing these two should be the norm, and indeed I think businesses that focus on tackling the world’s great problems will be the great success stories of the future.
MB – Tell us a mistake you’ve learned from:
RK –Trying to do too much oneself. This I’ve found normally backfires!
MB – How do you spend your time away from work?
RK – I like to get out and be amongst nature with family and friends. This is typically heading out to the nearest bird reserve, going on a bike ride or climbing a mountain.
MB – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
RK – Follow your heart in doing what you want to do. With enough passion and resilience most things are probably possible.
MB – What is the one book everyone should read?
RK – “Humankind” by Rutger Bregman. A bit of optimism amongst our often depressing news.
MB – What is something you wish you were better at?
RK – Listening
MB – What’s one thing you want to achieve in 2022?
RK – Our growth and impact ambitions!
Discover the other leaders recognised on the 2021 MB100, for their work combining profit and purpose to help achieve the United Nations Global Goals, here.