From a cardboard box to a real parcel box – the journey of the ParcelSea smart mailbox from idea to a workable solution
The journey of the ParcelSea smart mailbox from the idea to the present day has been surprisingly fast. As if only yesterday we were in the Viimsi garage and sketched different ideas on the paper. And now after six months, we have made it from the garage to our office in Pirita (Pirita tee 20/4 - come visit!), developed a cardboard box into a working private parcel box, grew the team into 9 members and collected different ideas on what to work on every day. We will introduce you to our journey in a little more detail.
September: Oh I wish that there could be a personal parcel locker in the world!
Mapping the problem: Problem was found with our own experience waiting for the online goods to be delivered. Moreover, we discovered that there is also a concern on the side of the couriers, because people are often not at home to receive the shipment.
- October: The first real shape of a smart mailbox
We started to solve the problem. In our garage. According to our first vision, we made a personal smart mailbox out of cardboard boxes with bolts and also gave him the first "tan" with spray paints. Already this look of the smart mailbox gave us enough confidence to start patenting the design. With great excitement, we built test versions from already finer materials and tested both electronics and hardware.
- November: we start testing a personal parcel box!
The ParcelSea team grew by half - now we are solving the problem in a team of four. In addition, to be sure of the needs for this kind of product, we conducted dozens of interviews with e-shoppers and gathered valuable feedback on the nature and features of the smart mailbox. When we understood the need for the product, we built 2 successful prototypes, which we started testing on test customers.
- December: ParcelSea is among the Prototron TOP50!
We decided to apply for the Prototron program and to our great pleasure ParcelSea was selected to the TOP50, during which we participated in several trainings, workshops and received personal mentoring on various topics and refined the concept of the smart mailbox even further.
- January: The smart mailbox is introduced to a wider audience!
We were chosen to Prototron's TOP30! That meant our team got personal mentoring, training and various exciting and developing workshops! In addition, people got more and more interested in us – so we participated in the Radio Kuku program “Restart” hosted by Henrik Roonemaa and Taavi Kotka. From there, something happened what we couldn't even expect – articles about us appeared in Geenius, Delfi, Postimees, Äripäev, on the Invest in Estonia website and we were also invited to the Äripäev morning program. In parallel, with the large media coverage, we launched our social media channels and website, where the first customers could place a pre-order for ParcelSea smart mailbox. In addition, we installed the first smart mailboxes for our test customers.
- February: smart parcel box gets last touches!
We continued to test smart mailboxes with a larger number of test customers, and at the same time we developed the product according to the feedback so that they could be installed to a bigger masses in two months. The testing went well beyond expectations, thanks to which we managed to halve the monthly fee (€ 19.99 -> € 9.99). In addition, we started working with all courier companies so that all couriers would know what a ParcelSea smart mailbox is and how to use it. By the end of February, we shaked hands with e-Selver and our test customers were able to start using the “Order goods to the ParcelSea smart mailbox” delivery in e-Selver.
- March: pre-orders are in full swing!
Interest about our smart mailbox grew. Almost every day people wrote to us, asked various questions and day by day the volume of pre-orders grew. The main issues were related to the nature and functionality of the product, based on which we published a product video of the ParcelSea smart mailbox. Also, we added a product information subpage and images to galleries that were behind the veil of secrecy due to design patent approval. In addition, we interacted strongly with various courier companies and started cooperation with DPD.
- April: every moment there is a personal smart mailbox at the homes of hundreds of Estonians!
The first upgraded series went into production! We built a private parcel box that is more durable, convenient and functional. Also, we visited Marii Karell's "Laser" TV program. We also completed our first round of funding, during which we managed to raise almost a million euros – who participated in the funding round and what the creators of ParcelSea reveal about the future, read here! Thanks again to everyone who believes and supports us!
- May: the moment is here – ParcelSea smart mailboxes are gradually reaching Estonian homes!
And where are we today? With a larger work volume, opportunities and developments, our team has grown into 9 members and we work every day in the Pirita office so that innovation won’t stop. At the end of April, we will start installing the first smart mailboxes, and soon the ParcelSea smart mailbox will be in the homes of hundreds of Estonians.
If you also want to be among these Estonians, place your ParcelSea pre-order here.