Solving The Multifamily Package Problem: Dallas-Based Fetch Poised To Expand Its Off-Site Model
The first round of institutional funding for Fetch may signal a growing national interest in startups that lessen the pain points for multifamily management companies inundated with packages ordered by residents who are increasingly turning to e-commerce.
Dallas-based Fetch recently nabbed $3M in seed funding led by Austin-based venture capital firm Silverton Partners.
Capital Factory, an Austin-based accelerator and investor, and Venn Ventures, a Dallas-based seed-stage VC firm, invested alongside Silverton. The funding follows a $500K initial angel round that included Dallas-based Tech Wildcatters and Steve Schaffer, founder of Offers.com.
Fetch, founded in 2016 and serving 5,000 apartment units in Dallas, will use the funding to expand into Austin and Houston, founder and CEO Michael Patton said. It will also invest in the company’s software platform, he said. The company has 17 full-time employees — several of whom were added once the funding closed — and 30 contract drivers.
To date, Fetch has served DFW properties managed by Greystar, Pinnacle, Wood Residential Services and ZRS Management.
Fetch says its solution solves the package problem spawned by the likes of Amazon Prime and the rise in e-commerce, which has caused a drain on apartment management resources. Fetch provides scheduled, door-to-door delivery to residents of apartments — a high-touch service that is different from other providers focused on digital lockers.
“Really our only competition is from package locker companies. We are the only company to accept everything off-site and then schedule delivery directly with residents,” Patton said. “We are the first company to provide the off-site solution, and we are trying to differentiate ourselves by really clearing the [multifamily] property of 100% of packages, providing residents with a higher level of service than any other solution out there.”
Besides Fetch, a handful of other startups and new business lines have formed to deal with the burgeoning problem of apartment offices and condo lobbies overflowing with packages ordered by residents online.
Sacramento, California-based startup Luxer One sets up electronic locker systems in luxury apartment complexes, office buildings and retail operations, where packages can be safely delivered without involving apartment or office management and then retrieved by tenants and residents who enter a code into a digital keypad.
Package Concierge, founded in 2012, also provides digital lockers. It received VC funding in 2015 and 2016 before being bought in 2017 by Gibraltar Industries in a $20M all-cash deal. Parcel Pending, founded in 2013, is also operating in the space.
More recently, Amazon got into the fray with the launch of Hub by Amazon — parcel delivery lockers. Amazon launched Hub at select properties last year and offered it nationally in June, including in apartment lobbies and Whole Foods groceries.
There should be plenty of opportunity for Fetch to expand despite an increasing number of entrants into the space, Patton believes. Another round of funding will likely be in the offing in mid-2019 when Fetch sets its sites on five to 10 markets outside of Texas, he said.
“We’ve really only scratched the surface just proving out the concept and proving that it works with these big companies,” Patton said. “We are still relatively early with our business; I think there is still a ton of room to grow, both with current clients within their portfolios and picking up other property managers who haven’t used us yet.”