22 November 2017 – Eje Prime
With just 48 hours to go until Black Friday, Citibox is busy working on a multiple-pronged strategy. The real estate proptech firm is getting ready for the big e-commerce day of the year, when Spanish consumers are expected to spend more than €1.4 billion online. On 24 November alone, many online businesses generate between 10% and 30% of their annual sales.
This fact directly affects Citibox, a Spanish company that in just two years has signed agreements with the kings of the Socimis, Merlin and Colonial, as well as with property developers such as Vía Célere. And all thanks to its intelligent lockers (or boxes, as they call them), storage spaces “that enable us to ensure that anyone can receive the package they are waiting for without having to be there in person”, says Félix Navarro, Director of Citibox, speaking to EjePrime. The firm has already installed 2,500 boxes in Madrid and Barcelona, the two cities where they currently have a presence.
Created in Valencia in May 2015, the proptech firm has a system whereby each one of its boxes is permanently connected to its own app. As a result, the parcel service is able to deliver a package to the user in the box that he/she chooses in advance and “once there, a password allows the delivery person to place the package in the corresponding space”. Once the package has been delivered, the recipient receives a message on his/her mobile device informing him/her that the package is ready to be picked up”, explains Navarro. “This satisfies the user and also the delivery companies, given that it saves them money and time by ensuring in advance that the delivery of its parcels will be successful”, says the Citibox executive.
According to research, 84% of people want to receive their parcels at home, and with the e-commerce boom, “online buyers have become more demanding”, says Navarro. A report from Cushman & Wakefield indicates that the rate of growth of the Spanish digital market is 19%, faster than any other country in Europe. Citibox wants to build on this – it already has a presence in the residential sector and in offices, through a series of models.
In the case of the housing market, the proptech firm offers communities of neighbours the opportunity to install its boxes. The only condition is that the block has at least 50 residents. Nevertheless, where the company really comes into its own is in the new urbanisations that currently being built, given that it has been reaching agreements with the most important Spanish property developers. In the Community of Madrid, it is already working with Vía Célere, in Villaverde, and with Grupo Roca in Getafe, in two residential complexes that are about to be handed over to their new owners. Moreover, the company has framework agreements in place with other companies in the sector such as Aedas Homes, Corp and Acciona. (…).
In this sense, one of the points that the company highlights is that “the investment is made by the user upfront: no payment is required for the services, regardless of the number or frequency of deliveries”, says the company’s Marketing Director.
Merlin and Colonial
In the office sector, Citibox operates for the two largest players in the real estate sector. Merlin has boxes in its Muntadas I and I buildings, whilst Colonial has an agreement with the company for its Sant Cugat Nord asset. Moreover, the proptech is present in the headquarters of Mutua Madrileña, Catalana Occidente, P&G, Saint Gobain and Just Eat, amongst others (…).
Citibox was created with five employees, including its CEO, David Bernabéu, and in just two years, its workforce has grown to include 50 people, and “we are still growing”, says Navarro.
Boosted by this growth, the company is now thinking about its expansion overseas. In 2018, Navarro is confident that “we can be present in the main European markets, such as in France, Germany and the UK”. (…).
Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)
Translation: Carmel Drake
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Source:: AURA Real Estate Experts