Instabox has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe by the Financial Times’ annual FT1000 ranking. Learn more about the Swedish parcel delivery start-up which is no. 3 on the list of “Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies”.
Some of our readers might have seen parcel lockers in supermarkets, post offices and train stations — the easy-access boxes that let you pick up a package at any time. The Swedish parcel delivery start-up Instabox has raised 174 million euros in its latest financing round. Its value is now estimated at 1 billion euros, granting it the Unicorn Status.
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Instabox ranks 3rd on the list among tech companies in Europe, 1st in Sweden in all categories, and 10th overall. The company lessens the burden on delivery staff, who don’t need to go to each house or risk leaving a parcel on the front porch of someone who’s not home — and investors are betting big on these boxes to solve the last-mile delivery issue.
Launched in 2015
Instabox has been growing fast since its launch in 2015. In 2020, it generated a revenue of 24 million euros. In 2021, the company raised over 73 million euros and entered the Netherlands through its acquisition of Red Je Pakketje.
With a growth of ~300 percent yearly since 2017, Instabox makes its first entry on the prestigious list. Instabox currently employs ~2,700 employees and serves consumers and merchants in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. In 2021, revenues amounted to 70 million euros. It makes the company the best-funded private parcel locker startup in Europe.
Related: Scandinavian E-Commerce Trends 2022
Expanding into the rest of Europe
The company was forecast to become a Unicorn for some time already, but it was via this last financing round that it actually achieved the mark of a billion euros, thus becoming the newest unicorn in Sweden.
“This is a great recognition of all the hard work a lot of people have put in over the last five years. Some truly great and inspirational companies have made it into the top-10 over the years, and I hope that our journey can serve as an inspiration to others. I’m extra proud that we have achieved this extreme growth without sacrificing our commitment to sustainability,” says Alexis Priftis, Co-founder and CEO of Instabox in a press-release.
Instabox now wants to translate its model to the rest of Europe — one market at a time. ‘The new financing will help us improve our services, making us even more sustainable. I am delighted with the confidence that our current and new investors have shown in us. The global parcel services market continues to grow every year and lightning-fast, hassle-free and fossil-free shipping set us apart from traditional shipping services. The new financing will help us build on that and further improve our services, making us even more sustainable and customer-oriented”, said Priftis.
A fossil-free shipping company
As a completely fossil-free shipping company, it will also benefit from an increased focus on sustainable options, both from merchants and online shoppers. In Sweden, the online beauty retailer Lyko recently decided to remove non-fossil-free options from their checkout altogether, and the trend to prioritize sustainable alternatives is expected to continue.
“In most markets, you don’t really have any choice as a consumer. You’re just presented with shipping and then like okay, sure, I’m gonna go for shipping. In Sweden we have created another type of experience,” Priftis says. Instabox currently operates 4,500 automated parcel machines.
Consolidating is important
However, the company will use the money raised in this round, not so much for expansion, but to further consolidate and reinforce the infrastructure of Instabox in Sweden, Norway, and The Netherlands, a much-needed reinforcement due to the amazing year-on-year growth of 300% that the company has had since 2017.
Related: The Scandinavian E-Commerce Market
Startups like Instabox, Airmee and Budbee have been shaking up Sweden’s archaic delivery landscape in the last few years with branded last-mile delivery and lockers. Ecommerce shoppers now have the possibility to choose from as many as ten different delivery companies and methods.
“We want to create a world where shipping is branded, shipping is differentiated and the consumer can choose. And that’s not an easy task necessarily, because we have to convince a lot of merchants all across Europe why this is a better idea,” Priftis says.
After Scandinavia – Netherlands and Germany
Instabox has already announced that it wants to place at least 3.000 more parcel lockers in the Netherlands. It will also strengthen its position in Norway, after taking over the Norwegian same-day delivery company Porterbuddy. Earlier this year, the company launched in Germany. The parcel deliverer announced that it would open more locker terminals within the country soon.
Swedish Parcel Delivery Start-Up Is No. 3 On The List Of “Europe’s Fastest-Growing Tech Companies” written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Instabox in Norway. Photo © DnB Næringseiendom