NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Louis Borders is not one to give up. The man has weathered two dramatic roller coasters, but he's ready to embark on his third with Home Delivery Services. This time, though he's hoping for a happier ending.
You may recognize Borders for his bookstore chain, which ceased operations in 2011. Or you may recognize him from his dot-com flameout Webvan, which pioneered the idea of grocery delivery before going public and, shortly after, crashing.
This time around, though, Borders thinks he has the winning formula in his reincarnation of Webvan: Home Delivery Services.
Nowadays we have ample choices for delivery services -- there's Seamless, Grubhub (GRUB) - Get Report, Postmates, Instacart, Google (GOOG) - Get Report Express, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report Prime Now, Delivery.com, Uber, Groupon (GRPN) - Get Report -- the list goes on and on. But Borders believes that nobody has gotten grocery delivery right just yet, and HDS is just the solution the industry needs.
HDS will function as an online mall or department store for retailers.
"It's a much more elegant shopping experience," Borders said in an interview.
For $99 a year, consumers will be able to purchase groceries and general merchandise and have it delivered straight to their door. Borders envisions HDS becoming the 21st century milkman, where consumers have a weekly delivery and can add products to their carts (or remove them) up until 5 hours before delivery time. Consumers will also be able to pay an additional $10 to get a rush delivery in an hour.
On Wednesday, HDS announced that Toyota had agreed to pay $2 million up front in exchange for being able to use the back-end technology behind the delivery service to help automate Toyota's own manufacturing facilities. That back-end infrastructure, dubbed RoboFulfillment System, is not yet ready to deploy. Once it is, companies like Toyota will be able to pay $20 million per installation. (Toyota may need 30 installations, said Borders.)
As opposed to the traditional route of raising funding from investors and venture capital firms, Borders has decided to fund his company solely based on partnerships like these so that he doesn't have to give away any equity in the company.
"This will allow us to attract more talent because we'll have more stock for the team," he said. It also provides the company with advisers and experts at Toyota that can help throughout the process.
Borders compares the RoboFulfillment System to Amazon Web Services, explaining that it will both serve the company's core business of grocery delivery and provide additional revenue from outside partners.
"It's been incredibly complimentary to their core business," he said. "Having these different companies funding and sponsoring infrastructure is making our core business much stronger."
The other factor that's significantly helping HDS's core business is patience. Reports of Borders' new company surfaced back in April 2014, and the service won't launch for at least another year. Borders is taking his time building the back-end infrastructure and signing on partners and retailers. Unlike Webvan, HDS is in no rush to scale.
"After the IPO, the dot-com bubble burst, and [Webvan] continued rapid scaling, which was a recipe for disaster," Borders said. Things are different this time around. "Instead of getting out to market quickly, we took a long time to design this thing."
Just because Borders is taking things more slowly with HDS doesn't mean that he doesn't have grand visions for the company. He wants to open up 30 facilities within five years and predicts $200 million in annual revenue per facility, which would yield $6 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
"We want to be a market leader in e-commerce," he said.