Q&A: Parcel Pending CEO Talks About $100 Million-Plus Acquisition

Parcel Pending, a startup that grew out of the pain point of apartment managers being overwhelmed by package deliveries, successfully got an exit by being acquired by the French company, Neopost for more than $100 million.

Neopost, with HQ in Paris, has four verticals: mail solutions, business process automation, customer experience management and parcel lockers. Hence the fit with Parcel Pending.

Neopost reported annual sales of approximately $1.1 billion in 2017. Its products and services are sold in more than 90 countries. Neopost belongs to the SBF 120 index.

Torres launched the startup in 2013. It employs more than 150 people and has thousands of customers across North America. She will stay on as CEO and the Irvine office will remain there.

Below she elaborates on details surrounding the acquisition and Parcel Pending’s future.

OCSN: How did you get to know Neopost?

Torres: We’ve been aware of Neopost for quite some time since they are a key player in the European electronic parcel locker market, as well as the university and corporate campus market in the US.

OCSN: When did the negotiations to buy Parcel Pending start?

Torres: We are unable to share any further details at this time.

OCSN: Was this Parcel Pending’s first offer to be acquired?

Torres: No, we have received numerous inquiries over the years, but were not in the market to sell.

OCSN: Were you also considering going public?

Torres: No, Parcel Pending was not in the market to be purchased. We are unable to share any further details at this time.

OCSN: How will Neopost help you expand domestically?

Torres: We are excited about this relationship and the value that the partnership brings to Parcel Pending and our customers. This is a win for our customers.

Together, we’ll continue to deliver significant value and ROI through industry-leading customer service and product innovation.

Being part of Neopost and its financial resources will allow us to expand our business quickly within North America, while also continuing to provide our customers with innovative solutions that make them more successful.

OCSN: How will you use the $100 million -plus, specifically?

Torres: We are unable to share any further details at this time.

OCSN: How did your company come to be based here in OC?

Torres: I had a 13-year tenure at The Irvine Company, a leading real-estate investment company and master planner based in Newport Beach.

Throughout my tenure, I was responsible for the operational oversight of the company’s entire multifamily portfolio, consisting of 1,200 property management associates operating over 44,000 apartment homes. This portfolio generated $1 billion in annual revenue.

While at The Irvine Company, I regularly walked through many of their multi-family communities. Initially, package delivery was not a major issue. However, as time went on and online shopping became increasingly popular, I noticed that property managers were struggling to devote enough space, time and money to properly manage the influx in resident deliveries. At the same time, residents were becoming overwhelmingly frustrated with having to pick-up their packages during office hours, disappearing packages and tracking packages that never arrived. I knew there had to be a better way and set out to find a solution.

I decided to start Parcel Pending in Irvine because of my longstanding history with the OC community. I started Parcel Pending in 2013 to provide seamless package management solutions to property managers, residents and couriers alike.

Today, Parcel Pending is the leading provider of package management solutions to simplify and secure parcel deliveries for not only multifamily communities but also retailers, commercial properties, universities and homebuilders.

OCSN: How has Parcel Pending contributed to the local startup ecosystem?

Torres: I care deeply about our community here in Orange County and am passionate about helping not only entrepreneurs in the area, but also those in need.

I have served in various community roles over the years. This includes stints as president of the South Coast Apartment Association Orange County in 2009; board member of California Apartment Association from 2010 to 2012; and board member of the CAA South Coast Apartment Association Orange County from 2005 to 2011.

Additionally, I personally and professionally support many local nonprofits and organizations that fight homelessness. I currently sit on the board of Families Forward, an Irvine-based nonprofit that aims to provide affordable housing for homeless and at-risk families. I was also a board chair of Grandma’s House of Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness, poverty and hunger, from 2010-2014.

I regularly speak at Chapman University and Pepperdine, helping to share my lessons learned and startup best practices with local entrepreneurs.

OCSN How will that continue, since you will still be based here in Irvine?

Torres: I am actively involved in our community here in OC. I am still on the board of Families Forward. I also often meet with entrepreneurs and will always make myself available to help others.

OCSN: What new locker-type products do you intend to launch this year?

Torres: We’re excited to announce multiple new products including:

– Smart Home Lockers, the industry’s first electronic package locker designed specifically for single-family homes.

Parcel Pending’s Smart Home Lockers provide homeowners with a convenient, secure and reliable way for them to receive their deliveries at home 24/7.

The way it works is simple. When a package arrives, the courier places it into the locker and then the resident receives a text or email notification that their package has been delivered. Alternatively, they can also ask Alexa or Google Play if they have a package. The package remains safe and secure in the locker until they return home.

Builders like Toll Brothers love our Smart Home Lockers because they provide a valuable solution for homebuyers. No one wants their packages stolen and now builders can help homeowners secure their online shopping deliveries by offering our tech-forward, innovative locker solutions.

– Fresh Lockers. Set at an optimal temperature of 68 to 75-degrees, Fresh Lockers are specifically designed to keep groceries and other temperature-sensitive items fresh.

What’s great about our Fresh Lockers is that they prevent temperature-sensitive items like bananas, medications, flowers, chocolates and more from becoming spoiled even when facing harsh weather conditions like the blazing Arizona temperatures or powerful humidity of Florida.

– Refrigerated/Freezer Lockers. Retailers can set the entire locker tower to the ideal temperature for perishable goods, and they will safely keep the items fresh until the customer retrieves them. By allowing retailers to adjust the settings to a refrigerator or freezer-like temperature, Refrigerated/Freezer Lockers make it quick, easy and convenient for customers to get goods like milk, eggs and wine in the freshest state possible.

Hands-down, our new Fresh and Refrigerated/Freezer Lockers give grocery retailers the upper hand when it comes to delivering an enhanced “click-and-collect” customer experience, and we’re confident that this will ultimately help boost their revenue.

OCSN: Anything else you’d like to add?

Torres: We’re honored to join the Neopost family and leverage their expertise to bring our innovative package management solutions to more people nationwide. I truly believe that Neopost is the perfect fit for Parcel Pending.

Like us, they are fiercely committed to providing world class customer service and pushing the envelope when it comes to product innovation. Joining forces with a company that embodies our collaborative, problem-solving spirit was an important factor in this strategic decision. I’m excited that our unique company culture and unparalleled customer service will remain intact as we expand our footprint.

That said, the Parcel Pending name is a recognized and leading brand in the package management industry.

Parcel Pending’s customer support team is a key differentiator and advantage between all other players within the industry. The customer support team will not be changed or altered in anyway.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

You don't have permission to register