Royal Mail wants in on that internet money

Royal Mail The Royal Mail is an ailing thing. For starters, you can tweet, WhatsApp, email, and all manner of other things, rather than send a letter. With that, they want some of that internet money to get back in the game. So what are they up to?

They're looking at an e-commerce start-up, buying a stake in something called Market Engine. This is a company that allows businesses to build online shops, so everything is under the same umbrella, like a virtual marketplace.

With internet retail sales expected to swell by 16% this year, to a whopping £52.25bn, you can see why they want in. However, this all feels a bit like someone has watched the horse bolt and they haven't even built a stable to keep it in.

They've been busy though. Earlier in the year, Royal Mail acquired Storefeeder, which is another e-commerce technology start-up. They also threw £2.5m at Mallzee, which has been referred to as the "Tinder for fashion". Whether that means an app that lets you know what shops are nearby, complete with a load of ugly dickpics, we just don't know.

"I'm excited to announce our investment in Market Engine," said Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels. "We think we can leverage our scale and expertise to help Market Engine expand and accelerate its entrance into new markets, while identifying opportunities to incorporate its technology solutions within Royal Mail's existing operations."

It all sounds a bit Dragon's Den, doesn't it?

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