Passel, the Australian startup where shoppers deliver on their way home to shoppers, will launch in Ireland before Christmas, setting the stage for expansion to Europe and the USA.
Passel was selected as one of the successful companies in the Smart Dublin Last Mile Delivery Challenge, a global search seeking innovative, smart, low-cost solutions to optimise freight and cargo deliveries in urban centres.
Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative aims to create partnerships between startups and public bodies to develop innovative solutions to public needs through competitive challenges. These challenges are co-funded by Enterprise Ireland.
According to Tom Kelly, Head of Innovation and Competitiveness, Enterprise Ireland, “The process is competitive and allows local authorities to collaborate and work closely with innovation-led SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to tackle real-life issues and problems. The solutions produced through these collaborations can potentially be employed to improve local, national and even global societies, with far-reaching benefits for both people and innovative SMEs with global ambition.”
Passel is one of 6 companies selected for Phase 1 of the project. Other successful tenders include UPS and We Bringg.
What does this expansion to Ireland mean for Passel?
Passel founder and CEO, Marshall Hughes, sees Ireland as a strategic step in Passel’s growth: “Ireland occupies a unique position in the global economy, central to the UK, Europe, and with close ties to North American companies and communities.”
There are significant advantages in collaborating with government and local enterprise: “Launching in Dublin and Belfast with support from Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Infrastructure Northern Ireland creates exciting opportunities to deliver for European retailers and, equally importantly, will enable partnerships to further advance our platform and expand the solution to other industries and challenges.”, said Marshall.
Passel’s Irish expansion builds on their Australian accomplishments in 2018 including commencing services from 50 stores in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. In the key on-demand delivery metric of speed, Passel averages 2 hours from booking to delivery, 7 days a week.
Like many startups, Passel’s ability to scale and further develop the complex algorithms required to power the system is partially reliant on external funding. They recently closed a $300,000 angel investment round with investors from logistics and retail including Doble Express Transport (DXT), Adept Project Solutions and Yellow Express.
The next steps for Passel are the localisation of the platform for Ireland and the UK, accelerating platform development, and applying those lessons to fuel rapid expansion to new markets and improve the service for customers in Australia. They will be starting to plan for their next capital raise in the near future in order to ensure Passel can capitalise on the strong market demand evidenced to date.