Online shopping is great but question: What good is even next-day delivery if you’re not home to receive the package? Not everyone has a doorman, which makes parcel deliveries something of a problem, and that’s that famous Last Mile that Parcel figured out.
It’s the off-hours delivery service for online shoppers, and they’ve just raised $1 million for solving a huge online shopping headache.
Our members ship their orders to our facility, and we hand-deliver their packages when they’re actually home. If you’ve ever lived in NYC without a doorman, this one’s for you! Parcel delivers the packages after hours, when customers are home, within a one-hour window.
The company launched in Manhattan and just rolled out beta in Brooklyn – and hopefully coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
Founder and Chief Executive Jesse Kaplan talks about how they managed to deliver the goods.
Who were your investors?
What was the funding process like?
As a 22-year-old recent college grad, I had limited knowledge of the fundraising process initially, so it was definitely a learning experience for me! Still, it was great to get the chance to share my vision for Parcel with so many exciting players in the tech and business worlds, and it was uniquely gratifying to see so many funds and angels want to get involved.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
We had a very small team during the fundraising process, consisting of just me and our CTO! I was overseeing all operations, strategy, business development, and marketing, so it was challenging to keep the business growing as I spent most of my days meeting with investors. Founders had told me that fundraising was a “full-time job,” but I hadn’t realized how right they really were!
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Parcel’s capitalizing on two very exciting trends: the growth in e-commerce and the general shift towards prioritizing customer service. With online retailers doing everything they can to delight their customers, it’s amazing that the last mile of the online shopping experience has remained so inefficient and so opaque. Our mission is to provide unprecedented transparency and customer service in the delivery process, and we’re so glad that such fantastic investors recognized this opportunity and were eager to join forces.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
My advice would definitely be to prove out the business on a bootstrapped budget before looking to raise. The traction we demonstrated while operating on a shoestring definitely helped investors recognize the huge opportunity we were tackling and the resourceful approach we would apply to our continued growth.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Our goal is to provide as many seamless, stress-free delivery experiences as possible. We’ve started our private Brooklyn beta, and we’re starting to begin adding new delivery areas in the coming weeks and months. With our new warehouse and a fleet of vans, you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more of us soon!
We’re also excited to work directly with online retailers, who’ll be letting Parcel handle their NYC deliveries directly. We’ve seen amazing loyalty among our early members, and we know we can help retailers win back customers they’ve lost to delivery hassles in the past.
What was the oddest parcel a customer asked you to deliver?
We actually don’t know what’s in the packages we deliver — we only know where they come from! While most of our orders come from retailers like Amazon, Zappos, J.Crew, and ASOS, it’s safe to say we’ve seen our fair share of packages from… unconventional stores.
What’s your favorite restaurant to call for food delivery?
I just moved to the Lower East Side and am still exploring the local Seamless options. A recent favorite is Wolfnights!
We would also appreciate your sending a brief description of your company, in your own words.
Parcel is the off-hours delivery service for online shoppers. Our members ship their orders to our facility, and we hand-deliver their packages when they’re actually home. If you’ve ever lived in NYC without a doorman, this one’s for you!