I’m told that Matt Handbury is no longer involved in Hubbed – the bill payment and parcel business he actively promoted as the future of newsagency businesses for more than a year. I am also told that the ANF no longer has its 5% stake in Hubbed but that Hubbed moved into the ANF offices in early January this year.
I am not aware of any formal announcement being made about any of these or other reported moves. A check of the Hubbed website and blog indicates that Handbury is no longer involved.
Given that newsagents have been asked to sign long-term finance contracts to ‘finance’ equipment and or software, one could argue that they are stakeholders in the Hubbed business since these finance contracts, in turn, release funds, working capital, to the Hubbed business. Has any of this money been used to buy out Matt Handbury and if so what is the impact on the financials of the Hubbed business.
Handbury was quoted in a range of media stories in 2013 about how Hubbed would save newsagents, that it was the future. His connections and history were used to gain traction with newsagents, newsagents respect him. Now that he is gone I wonder of some who signed up will have second thoughts.
Hubbed is pushing its parcel operation more than bill payment. Anyone considering Hubbed for its parcel operation need to talk to the people at the newsagent owned N Parcel and the privately owned Parcel Point – do your due diligence comparing Hubbed to those other free offerings. I say this because several logistics people I have spoken with say the Hubbed parcel model is not sustainable in the long term.
Given what appears to be its continuing investment in the Hubbed business, the ANF ought to make a full statement to newsagents so that they are better informed prior to signing any contract in relation to Hubbed. My understanding is that VANA and NANA are yet to endorse or support Hubbed in any way.
Anyone with more information on Hubbed, please share your comments here.