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Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)
FounderRoss Stevens[1]
Defunct2000 (2000)

Urbanfetch, founded in 1999 and closed down in 2000,[2] was a dot-com company which enabled customers to order products (DVDs, music, books, snacks, gifts, etc.) online and have them delivered by bike messenger in less than an hour within certain delivery areas covering most of Manhattan and London.

The company's business plan was essentially identical to that of Kozmo.com, which led to a lawsuit from them. Apparently, the founder of Urbanfetch, Ross Stevens, had been approached to fund Kozmo, but instead launched a competing business with an identical business model.[3] The suit was settled in December 1999.[4]

Urbanfetch, like Kozmo, charged no delivery fee and sometimes offered significant discounts. Urbanfetch also gave away free T-shirts and hats with each order when it first launched and provided free warm cookies with each order.[5] It ceased operations in October 2000.[2][6] Its corporate delivery division was sold to Urban Express, a traditional courier service.[7]

Urbanfetch became somewhat of a joke after an episode of The Daily Show parodied their business model to the Post Office.[5][8]

Schmitt and Brown in their Build Your Own Garage (2010) conclude that the company “was buzz only and lacked a rigorous business model”.[9]


  1. ^ Clay Shirky. "Why Kozmo and Urbanfetch Couldn't Deliver the Goods". The Wall Street Journal. October 16, 2000. Archived from the original on 2021-07-28.
  2. ^ a b Padraig Belton (December 23, 2014). "Location services: How GPS delivery is changing shopping". BBC News. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Putting Kozmo to the Test," June Kim and Sarah Lorge, SmartMoney, March 29, 2000
  4. ^ "Kozmo.com and UrbanFetch.com settle recent Lawsuit". Business Wire. December 13, 1999. Retrieved June 19, 2018 – via thefreelibrary.com.
  5. ^ a b Jaya Saxena (February 13, 2018). "Has Our Delivery Culture Gotten Out of Hand?". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Sandoval, Greg (October 12, 2000). "Urbanfetch to stop delivering goods to consumers". CNET. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Dan Ackman (August 2, 2001). "From Real To Surreal And Back Again". Forbes. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  8. ^ September 07, 2011 - Dr. Sanjay Gupta Views: 266,087 Aired: 09/07/11 Episode 16112
  9. ^ Schmitt, Bernd H.; Brown, Laura (2010). Build Your Own Garage: Blueprints and Tools to Unleash Your Company's Hidden Creativity. The Free Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7432-0260-2 – via Internet Archive.