This week, in our ‘Startup Spotlight‘ series, which features relatively under-the-radar but interesting European tech startups on a weekly basis, we shine a light on Lithuanian startup Packpin, which offers an e-commerce solution for retailers that lets their customers track shipments without leaving its website.
Here’s a Q&A with co-founder Vytis Radvila on how Packpin started, what makes it different from competitors and how he sees work/life balance.
tech.eu: How would you describe Packpin in a couple of sentences?
Vytis Radvila: With Packpin, customers can track the goods they bought on a shop where they bought the product and receive email notifications every time a delivery status is changed.
It is a new way for online retailers to provide delivery updates for their customers.
Where did the idea originally come from?
Marius Juodele, a Packpin co-founder, bought a lot of tech gadgets and tracked it at least eight times because he is pretty obsessed. It dawned on him that this solution was really not user-friendly nor convenient. With so many app and extension innovations in the market, why is no one working on this?
This sparked our passion to make something better.
How did you meet your co-founders? What were you each doing before starting the company?
We were working for three years already in a software development company. Before that Juodele, CTO and co-founder of Packpin, was working for companies in Lithuania and Silicon Valley. Eimantas Rudminas, another co-founder, was working at a London-based IT firms and later joined our team.
What makes Packpin different from similar services, such as AfterShip?
Most of these services and companies are doing a great job. What differentiates Packpin from other shipment tracking services is that we are focused not only on the tracking itself, but on getting the visitor back to the same shop and creating opportunities for online retailers to monetise the additional traffic.
How much funding have you raised so far? Any plans to raise more?
Can you talk about your business model? Or plans for monetisation?
It is very simple and easy to understand for our clients – we have a monthly subscription model and a free trial of one month.
How many retailer customers do you have at the moment?
Currently, we have more than 200 retailers and businesses using Packpin API and Magento plug-in.
As an entrepreneur, what does work/life balance mean to you? Is it something you strive towards? If so, how?
We are always struggling to achieve a perfect balance between work and life. We work from 9 to 5, sleep well, meet friends, spend some time with family and travel. Or we're working really hard to achieve that balance in the future. The thing is we really love what we do. It's a true passion for us. The other thing that I realised is that planning and scheduling is very important in order to stay productive. Having a clear road map, agile approach, sprint planning and morning scrums helps us to stay productive. Having a work/life balance is very important for me, that is why having a great team, hiring the right people and having clear personal life priorities are important.
How big is the Packpin team atm? Where does the company have offices?
Currently, we are a team of three co-founders. Two of them are software engineers and I'm a business developer. At the moment, we are in between Amsterdam and Lithuania, where we have an office. We have a great team of 12 developers ready to join Packpin team as soon as we raise funds.
What's the company's plan for the next 12 months?
Currently, this solution is tailor-made for Magento-based platforms, which constitute the lion share of the market. We have an API for custom webshops. The team is currently working on making it available across all IT infrastructure platforms and adding carrier companies to the system. Also, we are talking to larger web agencies that our solution would be default for their clients – new or existing webshops.
The interview has been edited and condensed.