Citibox raises €80M to fill Spain with smart mailboxes


Citibox has closed the largest bond issue by a startup in Spain. The leading technology platform in smart mailbox solutions for the delivery and return of ecommerce parcels, has just raised €80M in debt led by international funds Growth Credit Partners (London) and CoVenture (New York) to execute its expansion plans in Spain and multiply its current network by 10.

This is the first financing for the mass roll-out of residential smart mailboxes in Europe, with a completely groundbreaking and innovative financing structure of ring-fenced securitisation of a logistics infrastructure, through a private placement of notes that will be listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. The company receives this injection exclusively for the roll-out of the smart mailbox network in Spain over the next three years.

Growing with debt financing

Capturing the €80 million through the debt markets is a milestone in Citibox’s history. The company has obtained the financing after an intense and rigorous analysis of its last 5 years of activity, which highlights a successful business model with high recurrence.

Its customers are transport and ecommerce companies, which obtain a high increase in productivity while improving the experience of online shoppers.

“One of our big financial challenges has been to be attractive to the debt markets. We have made the most important bond issue of a startup in Spain, with the help of large international funds,” says Citibox founder and CEO David Bernabeu. “Thanks to this transaction, we are going to scale our expansion in Spain, multiplying our smart mailbox network by 10”, adds the entrepreneur.

This debt transaction allows the Madrid-based company to boost its growth in Spain while keeping its shareholding intact. In the next three years, thanks to this financing, Citibox will exceed 600,000 smart mailboxes installed in residential buildings, reaching 50% of residents in the top 10 Spanish cities, helping more than 5 million online shoppers to receive and return their ecommerce purchases for free, in the most convenient way and from their own home.

Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza and Malaga are among the other target cities for the company, which is currently present in Madrid and Barcelona with a network of more than 50,000 smart mailboxes.

Reducing costs and the carbon footprint of ecommerce

Since its birth in 2016, Citibox offers a pioneering and unprecedented solution in the Spanish market: smart mailboxes installed inside residential buildings that are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, so that all deliveries and returns are carried out successfully at the first attempt and at any time. This is a great improvement in terms of economy and efficiency for transport companies and ecommerce, but also for the environment.

It is estimated that 15% of all ecommerce deliveries in Spain are unsuccessful at the first attempt, because the recipient of the package is not at home at the time of delivery or return. This results in increased costs for both ecommerce and transport companies.

The solution developed by Citibox not only improves the productivity and profitability of companies in the sector, but also contributes positively to the transformation of cities, making them more sustainable environments. Because all deliveries are made at the first attempt, it means fewer delivery van journeys, less traffic congestion and a 52% reduction in CO2 emissions per parcel delivered during the day and 69% at night.

Citibox’s legal advisors on the transaction were Osborne Clarke, and on the investor’s side it was Hogan Lovells. To date, in addition to the €80m recently raised through the bond issue, Citibox has raised €50m in different rounds of capital increases. The acquisition of Celeritas in 2023 has allowed it to boost its returns business. Citibox currently has a network of 50,000 smart mailboxes in Madrid and Barcelona and more than 7,000 Celeritas convenience points, together offering the largest network in Spain and making it the market leader. It has a workforce of 250 professionals and expects to close the current financial year with a consolidated turnover of over €135m.