The Startupbootcamp Alumni Spotlight is a series of interviews profiling innovative and inspiring stories from our extended network in Amsterdam. Today, the spotlight is focused on Pakkie, a new Dutch startup pivoted from SBC Commerce Alumnus WeSwitch.
Pakkie is a payment and delivery service, solving the trust issue between the buyer and seller in trading secondhand goods on Facebook or Marktplaats (NL). Founded in 2017 by Boris Schellekens, Pepijn Mulders and Jaap Breeuwer – alumni from the 2017 Startupbootcamp E-Commerce program.
Q: Tell us your founding story, how did you get started?
A: We started last year in the Startupbootcamp E-Commerce program under the name Mr. Pastatalk, which was the beginning of our mission to change the way we buy and sell secondhand goods. At the time, we thought we had a great solution, but we ended up pivoting three, maybe four times into the proposition Pakkie, which we just launched.
Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve and how are you tackling this issue?
A: Last year, over 500.000 people fell victim to fraud on online marketplaces trading goods. People still drive 200 km just to pick up an item, which would probably be cheaper and better for the environment if they could have it shipped over. However, if you have it delivered and you pay upfront, what certainty do you have that the seller will follow through. With Pakkie we solve these trust issues and make it really easy and safe for you to ship your secondhand goods all over the Netherlands. Because of the direct connection with the postal services, we can ensure that the payout only occurs after delivery, making it safe and easy for both sides of the deal.
Q: What was your experience with the Startupbootcamp program?
A: The program really strengthened our core team of founders, by giving us knowledge of Lean Startup methodology. But foremost by implementing a process for us to develop, grow and learn – with daily standups, weekly recaps, monthly retrospectives and OKR’s. Secondly, Startupbootcamp significantly increased our network of investors, mentors, and key industry partners.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned since founding your company?
A: Learning how to deal with investors and partners early-on guided our choices and negotiations heavily. It is important to be open about your ideas and to get your proposition (not a product) out there as soon as you can. Invest in aligning your team with OKR’s and keeping to a steady rhythm.
Read more about current Startupbootcamp Commerce cohort in Amsterdam on our blog.
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