Dublin Startup Stories: Xpreso

Dublin startups tell their stories, powered by DCU Ryan Academy.

Meet Simon Pleass, Co-Founder and CEO of Xpreso…

Tell us about your product…
Xpreso eliminates the ‘Sorry We Missed You’ card that consumers receive when they are not at home when a courier calls with their online purchase. Our solution provides consumers with parcel delivery status notifications on their phone, and a precise delivery window that narrows as the delivery driver approaches. They can easily redirect their parcel delivery to a neighbour or parcel locker/shop, or alternately request that it is left in a safe place. Delivery companies and e-retailers are provided with the ability to track deliveries in real-time on-screen, whilst delivery drivers have turn-by-turn directions to each delivery, the ability to more efficiently manage parcel collections and one-touch dialling to the parcel recipient and delivery company.

What inspired you to start the company?
The idea for Xpreso came one evening when our COO and Co-Founder Eamon Keane was waiting for a takeaway delivery at home. The delivery still hadn’t arrived after an hour and Eamon thought that there should be a way of tracking the delivery. During Xpreso’s time on the NDRC’s Launchpad programme, Eamon and I met. I had a similar idea to Eamon’s and with my 30+ years experience in the courier business, was able to turn this idea into a viable product for the market.

How is Xpreso different?
Xpreso links all parties in the parcel delivery eco-system, and is a step-change from the existing legacy software and hardware technology currently in use. Our SaaS business model means our solution cost is significantly less than existing legacy technology, to boot.

What market are Xpreso targeting and how big is it?
We are targeting delivery companies, both national and global organisations. We estimate the market size in Europe alone at €1bn.

What’s your business model?
Xpreso’s commercial model is based on a low monthly charge per delivery driver. We also facilitate up-selling to consumers to a more convenient delivery location or time, and taking payment of VAT and cash-on-delivery. We earn a commission on these transactions.

Who are your investors, how much did you raise and why does that matter?
As founders, we invested some of our own funds in the company, as well as securing €30k in pre-seed funding from NDRC. We have also won a number of competitions: we were winners of NDRC’s Launchpad 8, and Eamon won the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015 competition. These prizes amounted to €100k. In our most recent seed-funding round, we raised US$1m from four investors: MasterCard, Delta Partners, ACT Venture Capital and Enterprise Ireland. More recently, we secured grant funding of €150k from the EU.

Our investors have been enormously supportive, not only in terms of their actual investment, but also in terms of mentoring us and demystifying the startup scene. The funding we have received to date has allowed us to invest in product development, sales & marketing activities, building our team to the current level of twelve staff.

Xpreso-logo Dublin-Globe

What are the biggest challenges Xpreso faces today?
We have had significant interest from companies around the world in what we are doing and a key challenge is seeking to manage our engagement with each of these opportunities. In many respects this is a good challenge to have!

What do you think motivated your investors to write that cheque?
The combination of a very compelling business concept, and a strong team.

What milestones do Xpreso plan to achieve over the next six months?
We will continue to roll out our solution to customers in Europe, whilst in parallel embarking on a further funding round.

What advice can you offer companies in Dublin who are just starting out?
Talk to as many customer prospects as possible in order to validate your idea and ensure that your business concept is meeting a real market need. Also: understand your business’s relative strengths and build on these, but more importantly be crystal clear on your weaknesses: if you don’t find a way to address these, the probability is that you will be doomed to failure. Everything you are about to embark on revolves around having an ability to sell. In building your team, everyone has to believe and be prepared to bet on your vision!

Tell us something you love about Dublin as a startup community?
There is so much support available to startup businesses than there was even just a short number of years ago. The Dublin startup community is really buzzing at the moment.

@xpresosoftware

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