A VENTURE PROGRAMME SUCCESS STORY
Today’s problem, tomorrow’s solution - introducing KIIMO
This success story was part of the EIT Digital Venture Programme, supporting entrepreneurial teams with deep tech business ideas to finalise their MVP and start their venture. Click here for more information and to apply for the 2020 edition.
If you look at KIIMO's website, it is hard not to ask: why did we not find out about this solution earlier? This Croatia-based company shows that delivery is not something only big companies can do. If you commute or travel a lot around your city, you could become one of the Kiimsters - as soon as the service is available in your town. There are myriads of articles about the boom of online shopping, and you’ve no doubt heard about the delivery problems generated by this phenomenon. Since infrastructure has not grown as fast as needed for on-demand delivery, lost or late packages are causing major problems.
Missing packages and endless delivery times
This is the issue that KIIMO is addressing by turning commuters into delivery specialists in their neighbourhood or city. “Inspired by crowdsourcing and the sharing-economy, we found a business model that works with any generation - like marketplace platforms or car-sharing,” says David Pavlovski, co-founder of KIIMO.
Pavlovski has several years’ experience in logistics, so he has access to the common know-how of the industry. “We have read a lot about the possibilities in solving delivery problems but did not see a real solution. That’s the reason why we started to develop our own. We thought about the crowdsourced services and the popularity they have earned in the last years. Also, everybody wants to make some extra money, but at the same time we are all lazy. This is the segment where a service like KIIMO can reach the market.”
GPS-based secure solutions for everyone’s problem
People want cheap but secure shipping. They are looking for an affordable delivery solution in which the product and their data are both safe. KIIMO is a GPS-based application: it offers smart routing for commuters and guaranteed delivery for customers. Using the mobile app, anyone can become a "delivery guy" without any branding or special equipment needed. Someone can use a car, a bike or even a public transport ticket to manage delivery on the way.
Finding the best way to potential customers and partners
With a great idea like KIIMO's, finding the best market and target group might seem easy. But targeting is much more complicated in the case of a crowdsourced service. So unsurprisingly, the founders have been continually trying to find the best market and the right communication strategy since the idea was first born in their minds.
When Pavlovski talks about EIT Digital’s Venture Program he mentions the mentorship and the help of experts. “Two years ago, we enrolled in the programme and presented our concept. We believed in it, but the feedback we got from the jury ensured that KIIMO became a good idea,” he says. “Through the mentorship, we defined the market and the segments of users. Then we started the tests in Croatia and Slovenia.”
Currently the team is building a new website and starting communications in the targeted cities.
Outside support – inside improvements
“The Venture Program is not just about money and administration,” Pavlovski says. “It is a strong foundation for startups, helping them to grow and form their ideas and products. Just like in the case of KIIMO, the Venture Program offered some financial support and mentoring. Moreover, the programme gives a startup team the kind of awareness they need in the beginning. Participation also brings the opportunity to meet other founders. The network helps startups to dig deeper into common technologies and to find different viewpoints.”
There is only one thing Pavlovski would like to change with a strict condition. “I would start KIIMO in a bigger market, like a bigger city, e.g. New York. But for that, we would need a lot more financial support.”
With a brave business model based on crowdsourcing, KIIMO is now a registered company in London. The founders believed in their idea and they have held onto their values during the development process. “What makes KIIMO successful?” we ask, and Pavlovski answers: “The first factor is time. Perfect timing is crucial. The second is the theme of the product or solution – the solved problem, the common need. The third one is perseverance during hard times.”
This perseverance is paying off: today Kiimo is focusing on raising the funds to go on with the next steps to the market. The startup's biggest investor is Fil Rouge Capital with €200K. The goal is to reach €500K before tackling the European market in earnest. "Since Kiimo is a capital-intensive business with an app, it needs regular fundraising every six months until the business starts working on its own,” adds Pavlovski.