Saturday, 30 October 2021

Croatian TheGepek Company Applying Blockchain Technology

October the 30th, 2021 - The Croatian TheGepek company has decided to apply blockchain technology and with it entered the competitive global market. TheGepek otherwise translates to ''TheBoot/Trunk'' (depending whether you're British or American) and has been around since 2020.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although courier services that can organise deliveries to people and companies in terms measured in hours or even minutes have been increasing for many years, the coronavirus pandemic raised their development to unprecedented proportions, and last year the Croatian TheGepek company was formed. Over more recent days, the company has been entering the global market through the cryptocurrency application model.

TheGepek is otherwise a web platform that provides package delivery in just a few hours, based on the carpooling model, ie using existing transportation resources.

As Kristijan Skarica, co-owner and development director of the Croatian TheGepek company explained, their wish was to test out the market with a minimal set of functionalities in order to apply their learned experiences in this new version by introducing blockchain technology.

"In just a few months, several thousand users registered for the service with minimal investment in promotion. This is an indication to us that the market recognises us and has a need for our service. We decided to implement the blockchain process because we're talking about the technology of the future that offers new ways to develop innovation, shipment security, customer rewards, package security and ensure the global presence of TheGepek on the market through blockchain,'' pointed out Skarica.

He added that the use of blockchain will be one of the key differences of the Croatian TheGepek company when compared to other delivery services, because in addition to the implementation of blockchain, the platform will become universal in the concept of long-distance and last mile (simultaneous) delivery and thus become an ideal solution for all end users and their needs.

''We're currently in the process of making the so-called POC on the blockchain (Proof of Concept) with our partners and the award-winning digital agency Locastic, and our users will be able to see how the use of blockchain technology on the TheGepek platform works. I'd also like to mention Edi Sinovcic from the ShardLabs blockchain development agency with which we're successfully building this project. There will be more significant news in this segment by the end of the year,'' announced Skarica. The blockchain usage model in TheGepek should also be fairly easy to use.

Every driver who delivers a package, in addition to being paid in Croatian kuna, will receive a GPP token as an additional reward for each confirmed delivery on their account. The GPP token will have its equivalent in fiat currency, the user will be able to exchange it for money directly on the platform, withdraw to one of the partner exchange offices or to their own private wallet.

This GPP token will then be used to confirm a delivery in the form of a blockchain transaction, which further adds to the security and transparency of TheGepek's business, given that all blockchain transactions are publicly available and immutable. All users who own a GPP token, which aims to be the backbone of the entire TheGepek ecosystem, will be able to invest the token directly on the company's platform in several different investment pools, which will range from secure to risky.

From this micrologistics company, they estimate that the yield of the pool will vary by 10-50 percent per year, depending on the degree of risk, so users will be able to provide package insurance to other users who send packages and drivers who deliver packages.

The Croatian TheGepek company's project was launched last spring by two young entrepreneurs, brother and sister Dario and Carla Ferreri, based on their personal bad experience with existing courier services. Although over recent years various larger and smaller courier services have flooded the market here in Croatia, their main drawback is that they're mainly related to large cities, primarily Zagreb and several others, and the rest of Croatia, especially smaller settlements and villages, are left to the whims of Croatian Post and large delivery companies whose delivery deadlines are often measured in days. Some items simply never arrive.

This was exactly the reason as to why Dario and Carla started a business that has some great prospects. Namely, as Carla explained, she herself, as well as her brother, have many years of experience in logistics and business development.

"We came up with the idea one Friday afternoon, when it was necessary to deliver a package from Zagreb to the vicinity of Zadar quite urgently. More specifically, this package contained medicine, and the delivery deadline option we got that afternoon at several locations, from the post office to the distribution houses, was on average four days because there was a weekend ahead of us. We solved our problem that afternoon on the ''call a friend'' principle, and the very next day the idea of ​​developing TheGepek was born,'' pointed out Carla Ferreri.

Cost-sharing economics

For package senders, the Croatian TheGepek company has developed a “cashback” system in which all senders can send up to a certain percentage of money in the form of GPP tokens on their account, which they can then use for the next shipment or invest in one of the available ways on the platform. Depending on the level of use of TheGepek platform, each user will have the opportunity to realise additional benefits.

''We currently have very large growth on the platform which now has close to 4000 users and this growth is partly driven by putting the focus on farmers and the transition of their goods and services. I mention this group of users because they showed us how crucial it is to have a platform like TheGepek available that ensures fast and efficient sending of our own products, reduces delivery costs and even provides a source of additional income,'' stated Kristijan Skarica, adding that through such an approach and thanks to market testing, they have gained a clear example of a circular economy and he has no doubt that the use of blockchain technology will position them as a new technological solution.

The platform is currently available in Croatian and English, but the maps are global and TheGepek can be used anywhere in the world. This year, TheGepek has become part of the Infobip Startup Tribe programme, which, in addition to mentoring, provides them with Infobip's technology that will provide them with some completely new functionalities and benefits.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Croatian TheGepek Platform Allows Anyone to Become "Deliveryman on the Way"

July the 14th, 2021 - The Croatian TheGepek platform (TheBoot/Trunk) allows quite literally anyone to become a ''deliveryman on the way'', and the coronavirus pandemic is the one ''to thank'' for its creation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, over recent years, Croatia has experienced the expansion of various courier services, and the coronavirus crisis has raised this micrologistics to an even higher level. Today, delivery is organised within deadlines that are measured in hours or even minutes. Their added value came to light during the height of the pandemic when many people weren't leaving their homes and still needed to send and receive items, whether they be store supplies, food or even medicine.

However, the main disadvantage of these services is that they are mainly related to large cities, and the rest of Croatia, especially smaller settlements and villages, are left in the hands of Croatian Post and large suppliers whose delivery deadlines are often measured in days as opposed to mere minutes.

Noticing this issue, the Croatian TheGepek platform was launched last year, based on the principle that almost anyone can be a delivery person who can accept or deliver a package to a location they're already travelling to, for which they will, of course, receive a fee.

TheGepek, started by a brother and sister, Dario and Carla Ferreri, and subsequently joined by entrepreneur Kristijan Skarica who specialises in the development of startups, has entered into cooperation with the Croatian IT champion, Vodnjan's remarkable Infobip.

As Carla Ferreri explains, she sees joining the InfoBip Startup Tribe programme as the beginning of a fruitful and long-lasting collaboration for both participants.

“We're a small company which is only just developing its business, but we're growing and currently have about 2,000 customers. It's known what Infobip represents in Croatia and the world today, and our attachment to them through the Startup Tribe is a great thing in itself. Infobip announced competition for startups that they'd like to help, so we applied and soon they told us that we'd entered the programme and asked what we needed and wanted so that they could help us as much as possible. As they develop communication technology that is very important to us for expanding our delivery business, we've agreed that they make several of our programmes and tools available to us, free of charge,'' says Carla Ferreri.

She added that Infobip, through the Startup Tribe programme, has provided them with its own network of partners, investors and all other contacts, and therefore they expect that this will greatly help them in developing their business.

"Of course, this is a win-win situation, because with the growth and internationalisation of the business, we'll have the need to increase our use of Infobip's tools, so in this way we're developing rapidly, and Infobip is creating new customers and markets," noted Carla Ferreri.

The Croatian TheGepek platform was created back during the very height of the coronavirus pandemic last year when little was known, chaos reigned and all the shortcomings of the existing courier services came racing to the forefront.

"We came up with the idea one afternoon when it was necessary to deliver a package, some medicine, from Zagreb to the vicinity of Zadar quite urgently. The delivery deadline option we were given, from the post office to the distribution houses, was on average four days because there was a weekend ahead of us, that was just unacceptable to us. We solved our problem that day according to the principle of calling a friend, and the very next day the idea of ​​developing TheGepek was born,'' explained Carla Ferreri.

The Croatian TheGepek platform is based on the sharing economy, the so-called a carpooling cost-sharing model with the possibility of package sending flexibility that the current package distribution market doesn't yet offer. As it is based on a large number of non-professional vendors, the platform also has security options specific to similar systems and rating systems. TheGepek plans to include virtual currencies in its business in the coming period, but more will be known at the end of the month.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.