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The recent launch of a solution through which the BeeFast start-up opens its ultra-fast courier platform to companies that need to digitally organize their own delivery service creates new development opportunities. And the next step is international expansion.
“BeeFast will no longer be perceived only as a last-mile delivery service on demand, but also as a software provider that puts digital control tools at the disposal of any business that wants to organize its own deliveries”, offers Cristian Grozea, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of BeeFast, a first detail about the latest completed project. The company thus begins to develop a new line of business, by launching the BeeFast SaaS (software as a service) solution, following an investment of 250,000 euros, opening its platform to merchants who want to manage their own fleet of suppliers. This move also represents the bridge to the international market, with countries of interest Germany, Holland, Spain and Great Britain.
Launched at the end of 2019, following an investment of 100,000 euros, BeeFast stood out for its ultra-fast courier services – with an average delivery speed of 55 minutes from placing the order – and for its digital integration for offline businesses. The company was founded by four young people – Cristian Grozea, Andrei Curelea, Claudia Stroe and Marian Ionescu -, starting from the need to send and receive things very quickly, “immediately, if possible”, up to an hour – through comparison, the average delivery time for classic courier is 24-48 hours.
From the beginning, the business started with the idea of helping businesses move from offline to online, by developing an electronic store in just 24 hours, on the e-commerce platform Shopify, which it integrates with automated payment systems and delivery. And from here came other ideas with related services.
An important stage in the company’s evolution was the first half of last year, when BeeFast not only grew by 350% compared to the same period in 2020, but also attracted an investment of 500,000 euros for development from a private investor. “From the beginning, our vision was to develop the infrastructure for the digital economy. We started with the development of the software platform and its testing in the operations in Bucharest, at the end of 2019, and from 2021 also in Brașov. We have always been in an upward dynamic in the segment of ultra-fast deliveries, but we are a tech company, so the second phase of our development and going beyond the operational area is a natural step. Without the pandemic context, we probably would have reached this phase earlier”, says Cristian Grozea. BeeFast is now entering a new business line, offering a SaaS solution in the order management segment. What it is?
With an investment of 250,000 euros and at the end of six months of work, BeeFast opened its ultra-fast courier platform to companies that need to digitally organize their own delivery service.
“The digital economy is increasingly making the transition to q-commerce (abbreviation for quick commerce, no), so BeeFast SaaS-type solutions for fast deliveries and with real-time observability are the ones that will accelerate or decelerate the evolution of a business”, emphasizes Grozea.
BeeFast SaaS is aimed especially at retailers – companies with their own delivery system, such as florists, pharmacies, grocery stores, dark stores, electronics stores, etc. -, but also to companies in the service area, such as cleaners, HoReCa, as well as small and medium-sized delivery companies.
More specifically, “the solution offers automation that optimizes the process of taking orders and delivery, allows the assignment of multiple orders and the sorting of tasks, in addition to real-time tracking regarding the courier and an automation of geolocation so that discussions of such as “the delivery will be made between 10.00 and 15.00” or errors such as “the PIN showed me another address”. Basically, it will be known exactly where the courier is, at all times, and the courier will know exactly where to go with an order.
BeeFast SaaS can be accessed by merchants on the basis of a monthly subscription, which starts from 54 euros and can reach up to 999 euros. The difference between the subscription thresholds comes from, among other things, the number of monthly deliveries and can vary by customer.
“In the past two years, investments in user experience have influenced customer retention more than ever, and a thorough analysis of data translates into saving time and money. The democratization of our platform represents an expansion of the know-how accumulated in these two years of ultra-fast deliveries and a way for any business that makes deliveries to differentiate itself in the market”, explains the entrepreneur.
The company will focus in the next period on the development of the SaaS solution, which Grozea believes can be easily scaled, regardless of whether we are talking about national or international level. The company already has requests to be implemented nationally in cities such as Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara and Brașov. And the next move targets the markets of Germany, Holland, Spain and Great Britain.
“We are in discussions, we cannot say more about this now. The business model will be the same as in Romania, access based on a monthly subscription. There is room for development in Europe because there are few solutions of this type based on the experience and needs of the area of delivery on demand, now, immediately, with real-time observability. Most solutions, including in Romania, are focused on next day delivery”, points out the entrepreneur. Grosso modo, “we estimate that by the end of the year we will have over 500 customers already using our solution”.
While BeeFast’s tech segment continues to develop on the digital infrastructure segment, the operational side continues to develop organically. Recently, BeeFast concluded a partnership with the online retailer evoMAG and, at the same time, expanded into the food retail area, through a partnership with Auchan Romania.
“The operating segment continues to grow organically. We keep our delivery promise, recording an average order pickup time of 55 minutes. Q-commerce is a reality, not just a trend, and this is observed from month to month”, adds Cristian Grozea.
In terms of turnover, 2022 could also be about crossing the threshold of one million euros, up to more than 1.1 million euros, with an increase of 50-70% estimated for the current year, from 650,000 euros in 2021. “At the moment we are aligned with the original plan, but we prefer to focus more on the development of a competitive product than on financial results”, says the entrepreneur.
A study published this year by KeysFin, a provider of business information solutions, shows that the postal and courier services market is one of the few areas in which the number of companies has grown considerably during the pandemic, by almost 39% compared to the period before the pandemic ( respectively 2019) and approximately 242% above the level of 2011, reaching the record level of 3,400 companies. At the same time, the turnover of companies offering postal and courier services was estimated in the same study at around 1.5 billion euros in 2021.
There are several aspects that make a difference in 2022 for BeeFast. And one that was just scored a few weeks ago.
NEWS. In July, BeeFast launched the first Romanian software as a service (SaaS) solution for companies that want to manage their own last-mile deliveries within cities in real time. The investment was 250,000 euros. EXPANSION. SaaS is intended to be the movement that facilitates the expansion of the company in other countries as well, on the list being Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Great Britain. In parallel, development will continue in Romania, in several cities. CUSTOMERS. After two years of experience on the market in Bucharest and Brașov, with over 300,000 orders delivered, in an average of 55 minutes, and the transition of over 70 businesses online at the onset of the pandemic, BeeFast estimates that, by the end of the current year , to have over 500 customers using the new SaaS solution. TARIFF. Merchants can access this solution based on a monthly subscription, which starts from 54 euros and can reach up to 999 euros. The difference between the subscription thresholds comes, among other things, from the number of monthly deliveries and can vary considerably depending on the individual customer.
This article appeared in issue 145 of . magazine.