Citibox launches an ecommerce startup incubator in Madrid to provide solutions to the “last mile” hurdles in online shopping.
Citibox, a company specializing in the management of intelligent mailboxes, has created an ecommerce startup incubator dubbed “business_lab” whose initial function is to incubate five startups that will provide solutions to the challenges currently posed by the last mile of online shopping.
The “last mile” is a retail term used to describe the movement of goods from a fulfillment center to their final destination.
Citibox, chaired by Bernardo Hernández, has launched a call in search of entrepreneurs with the aim of creating five startups. Citibox will offer financing of 30,000 euros and 70,000 euros in resources, including a year of in a free office, to develop new projects.
“We have determined that there are about 10 potential opportunities that are very interesting; we could make the strategic decision to develop them internally, but we would need many people,” said Hernández.
For this program, Citibox is looking for entrepreneurs who have experience in the creation of other startups, CEOs with extensive experience who are looking for a new challenge in their professional career, and professionals from companies specialized in different areas.
The selection process will end on April 17, when the 30 finalists will be announced, who in turn will attend the “Citibox Weekend” on 20, 21 and 22 of the same month, at which time the 15 best entrepreneurs will be chosen.
These 15 entrepreneurs will be tasked with churning out five startups to tackle the last mile challenge.
Ismael Teijón, co-founder and project manager of the Demium Startups incubator, has been placed at the forefront of the business_lab initiative.
Teijón, who has been behind the creation of 35 emerging companies in five years, explained to Kippel01.com that Citibox seeks to solve various challenges that the last mile poses today and whose solutions the team can not cover on its own. “We can not do everything,” said the manager.
The startup, founded in Valencia in 2015, has looked at different opportunities in the realm of logistics, among which is a click & collect solution (the customer orders the item online and then collects the item from a local facility).
Citibox, which currently has a team of 60 people, plans to make the leap to the rest of Europe in the third quarter of 2018, as David Bernabéu, CEO of the company, told Kippel01. “If everything continues the same as we do now, we hope that in the third quarter of this year we will have the technological capacity to scale internationally,” he said.
Citibox bases its smart mailbox technology on geolocation and already has more than 3,000 models installed in Madrid, its largest market currently with Barcelona.