Challenger in the Dutch parcel market Instabox Netherlands (and Red Je Pakketje) has been declared bankrupt. However, an internal email reveals that the company will soon have a consultation with staff and the appointed trustee Mr. Voermans.
The parent company Instabox was founded in 2015 in Stockholm and operates the most extensive network of parcel lockers in Scandinavia. With partners such as H&M and IKEA, Instabox delivers the online purchases of millions of consumers, mainly through lockers and emission-free delivery by bicycle. The company has 1,000 employees in the Netherlands.
Red Je Pakketje has officially been called Instabox since February 20221. The Dutch parcel delivery company was already acquired by the Swedish company last year but so far retained its own name. The entry into the Dutch market followed an announcement of €75 million in funding earlier the previous year, led by investor EQT Ventures. Instabox/Instabee’s valuation in September 2022 was still 1 billion euros (estimated 1,7 billion euros today).
Instabox’s main focus was growth, including connecting some European customers and expanding its proposition to include lockers. With the increase in volume, productivity (stop densities) would improve, resulting in a margin improvement. The plan aimed for a positive margin by the end of 2022 to move from there to long-term profit and positive cash flow. After the acquisition, the continuity of Red Je Pakketje would be ensured with a profitable business model of Instabox in Sweden and raising new financing in 2022.
Quote Magazine estimated the Dutch acquisition amount last summer at 25 million euros. It was already known that Red Je Pakketje was making a loss. Equity at the end of 2021 was 1.2 million. The loss came to 11 million. At the end of 2021, there were over 19 million euros of debt.
Emerce Magazine reports, “Apparently, there are quite a few debts left in the Netherlands because the old companies Instabox Netherlands and Red Je Pakketje were declared bankrupt on Monday last week by the Amsterdam District Court.” It sounds like a big financial cleanup, with employees, creditors, and customers bearing the brunt.
Alexis Priftis, CEO of Instabox, tells Logistiek.nl in a brief statement that the bankruptcy filing was a tough decision. “We realize the negative impact on staff, customers, and partners. Therefore, we have an increased focus on profitability. After analyzing past and future performance, we have concluded that Instabox will not be sufficiently profitable in the Netherlands based on our multi-year goals.”
Red Je Pakketje Founder Sam Rohn responded on Linkedin in disbelief, “Gravely shocked and profoundly affected I am by today’s news. Unfortunately, with the withdrawal of Instabox Netherlands, Instabox is also pulling the plug on what used to be Save Your Package, the company to which I have given my heart and soul – along with many others – for over seven years.
I have no other words for it now and can only say that my thoughts go out, especially to my wonderful former colleagues, partners, and the customers who believed in Instabox/RJP all those years.”
What the disappearance of Instabox from the Netherlands means for customers and clients and the recently acquired Budbee (now part of Instabee) is unknown.
Bol reports to Plaza partners, “We have learned that Instabox has gone bankrupt and are looking into this further. Like you, we find the news annoying. If you are using Shipping via bol.com+ via Instabox, our urgent request is to immediately remove your product range from Shipping via bol.com+ to minimize operational inconvenience.”
Walther Ploos van Amstel.
Photo: Albert Heijn/Budbee