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Sweden’s Instabox and Budbee to join forces and push forward sustainable last-mile delivery

A new name is coming to the last mile delivery space – Instabee. Swedish startups Instabox and Budbee have announced their intention to partner up and create a new holding company with the aim to push the boundaries of consumer-centric and sustainable ecommerce delivery services. 

As Europe’s ecommerce space keeps growing so does innovation in last-mile delivery services. Europe’s ecommerce brands need to keep securing ways to get goods to consumers in a sustainable way whilst meeting rising demands for speedy and convenient deliveries. Helping to achieve this are last-mile delivery companies, such as Instabox and Budbee. These two Swedish startups have both established themselves as main players in the market, and now, they are coming together in a shake-up of the sector.

The proposed merger

In this latest announcement, Instabox and Budbee have stated their intentions to join forces and merge into a new holding company. They’ll even merge their names – becoming known as Instabee. 

The combination, subject to customary regulatory approval from the Swedish Competition Authority, would create a new Group with the power to further invest in, and push the boundaries of, consumer-centric and sustainable last-mile delivery services

In the new company, Budbee’s founder, Fredrik Hamilton, will assume the position of CEO and Instabox’s founder, Alexis Priftis, will become Executive Chairman of the Board.

Fredrik Hamilton: “I have been long-term in my plans since the start, and this move is an amazing opportunity to create something truly substantial. I have of course followed Instabox closely during the years, and I’m impressed by their journey. This feels like a perfect match, and I look forward to getting to know all my new colleagues. We will achieve great things together.”

The new combined company is valued at over €1.6 billion. The founders, alongside Kinnevik, will be the largest investors. Additional backers include Creades, EQT, Verdane, AMF, Stena Sessan, H&M, CNI Nordic, and Tham Invest. 

Alexis Priftis: “I think that this is a great fit between two companies that share a lot of common values. Mutual respect and admiration has grown for a long time, and I’m happy that we are now getting behind the joint goal to transform the world of e-commerce shipping with our obsession with the customer experience and sustainability close to heart. I’m thrilled to see what we can achieve together.”

A new era for last-mile delivery

The two companies have both been at the origin of last-mile delivery in Europe, swiftly becoming popular in their home Nordic markets and enjoying expansion over recent years. They’ve both been well-praised for their ability to challenge traditional players in the industry,  both advocating for a consumer-centric and sustainable approach. 

Founded in Stockholm in 2015, Instabox deliveries to smart automated parcel lockers quickly became a preferred option for many Swedes. Instabox added home deliveries to its offering in 2021 and today operates in five countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany). The startup has made a number of acquisitions in the past couple of years, including Norwegian Porterbuddy in January and Dutch company Red je Pakketje in May 2021. It’s also been at the forefront of sustainable practices, launching its Instabikes service in 2020.  It also picked up €36 million in 2020 which has helped propel this growth story. 

Budbee was founded in 2016 with an initial focus on making home deliveries smarter, faster, and more convenient for consumers. Budbee added boxes in 2020 and today operates in five countries (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium). The Stockholm-based team expanded into the Netherlands in 2019 after a €4.8 million raise

The business logic behind this combination relies heavily on pooling and building on the two companies’ combined expertise and know-how. Instabee will be able to challenge traditional state-owned players and well-funded on-demand delivery companies entering the ecommerce sector. It’ll also leverage potential synergies in operations and sharing technology solutions will lead to substantial savings in terms of carbon footprint.

Georgi Ganev, CEO of Kinnevik: “We are excited to support the combination of Instabox and Budbee. From the outset, we have been impressed with Fredrik Hamilton’s and Budbee’s strong and consistent execution of its growth strategy. With the combination, we expect Instabee to continue to develop its customer proposition, building on the two companies’ combined expertise and know-how. We look forward to continuing to be a leading shareholder in Instabee as its growth journey continues.”

John Hedberg, Creades CEO and Instabox Chairman: “Over the last years, Instabox and Budbee have both revolutionized their respective fields of the last-mile delivery space. As a major shareholder in Instabox we are very impressed with the historic achievements by Alexis and the Instabox team, and this next step of combining two Swedish entrepreneurial success stories makes for an even more exciting future. A future we are very much looking forward to being part of.”

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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