ParcelSea is revolutionizing the world of courier services25.02.2021
Everything originated from the men’s own experience and concern when it was necessary to wait at home for a courier for goods ordered online. “By mapping the problem, we realized that the couriers are also concerned – often, when the courier arrives, people are not at home to receive the parcel. Of course, we initially had more questions than answers: where to start, what resources do we need, what is our value proposition? We realized that we needed to start with the materials and tools we had, and we built the first concept out of cardboard boxes, glue, bolts, and nuts and finished with spray paint. The first result greatly boosted our confidence. The second prototype was already made of finer materials and techniques, and we were very satisfied with the result,” said Andres Sampka, one of the authors of the idea.
From then on, everything progressed at a crazy pace. In October 2020, the men filed a design patent; in November, the first two prototypes were successfully tested on both electronics and hardware. The first MVP product was ready for Christmas; on January 20, smart mailboxes were installed for test customers in Tallinn, Viimsi, and Pärnu, and the production of smart mailboxes started.
In addition to the founders Andres and Indrek Jürgenson, who covered skills starting from IT & hardware development, strategic thinking, and operations management, the ParselSea team was joined by Tanel Raun, an expert in logistics who has a thorough knowledge of the courier world and top engineer Timo Tolmusk, who makes sure that the entire product development process runs on its right tracks.
The smart mailbox is working
“We are now sure that the smart mailbox works in different weather conditions, and it is time to focus on real use cases. We started asking beta testers and couriers for feedback so that the smart mailboxes produced by April would already take into account different situations, parcel sizes, and everything we can’t predict today. At the same time, we will introduce our product to courier companies so that by April 2021, everyone will know what a smart mailbox is and how to deliver different packages there,” said Andres, and added that cooperation with Omniva, DPD, COOP, Selver, Prisma, DHL, UPS & others is already going on.
We applied at Prototron with the expectation of gaining additional momentum from the startup landscape experts through practical advice and homework. It was also interesting to see how other startups, who are more or less in the same stage. For example, Product Market Fit and One-pager Homeworks were particularly good, directing us to organize previous analyzes of the market, goals, and value proposition. The whole structure of the program was logical, and I see that it will be of great benefit to those who have not been in the field for a long time. At the same time, there are many former leaders on our team, but when making a new startup, you can often get confused and different opinions about priorities may arise. Thanks to the advice received at Prototron, we put together a good enough pitchdeck to make presentations to investors before the finals.
– Andres Sampka, founder of ParcelSea