Sustainable packaging company Parcls turns out to be a bottomless pit: 2.4 million.

It appears from the just published first bankruptcy report from trustee Angelina Bakker.

Sustainable

Parcls was a sustainable parcel service with branches in urban centers, where parcel companies such as DHL, DPD and GLS could deliver their parcels. Because these packages could then be picked up or delivered on a cargo bike, it would save a lot of traffic and exhaust gas in the city.

The company, which was founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Luc van Gompel, had six Amsterdam locations and three outside.

Growth plans

Parcls seemed to thrive in recent years. At the beginning of last year, the company raised growth financing of 1.7 million euros, including from Amsterdam’s sustainability fund AKEF. In March, Director Marlies van Lohuizen expressed the ambition to grow to 100 branches.

In May, Parcls suddenly appeared to be in serious financial trouble. Not long after, the company went bankrupt.

Millions evaporated

It now appears from curator Bakker’s bankruptcy report that Parcls has only had huge losses since its foundation. For example, the company posted a turnover of 250,000 euros in 2019, but the loss was a multiple of it; almost 684,000 euros.

A year later, turnover had doubled to almost half a million. But the loss had also grown, to 792,000 euros.

Last year, revenue exploded to just under 1.2 million euros, but there was a loss of more than half a million at the bottom. In the first five months of this year, the company lost an additional 377,000 euros. In 3.5 years, Parcls saw a total of almost 2.4 million euros evaporate.

Bankruptcy

The report also shows that persistent losses at the end of last year forced the company to look for new lenders. When these were not found in time, the company collapsed.

On 5 May, the Amsterdam Sustainability Fund AKEF claimed the company’s assets, which were pledged as collateral for the loans.

This, according to the report, led to Parcls having to request a deferral of payment. “It did not go well anyway, but if the income in the company goes to the mortgagee, the situation will be completely unsustainable,” says curator Bakker in a statement.

When it became apparent that there was no possibility of paying the creditors, the bankruptcy followed on 10 May. Initially, the trustee continued the company’s activities. But when one of the contracting package bidders unexpectedly withdrew his contract on May 16, Bakker saw no option but to stop the activities.

No restart

Last month, founder Van Gompel told RTL Z that he still had high hopes of a restart. It was also the financier AKEF behind. “Our fund wants to make a sustainable impact on Amsterdam. That goal can possibly be achieved through a restart,” said fund manager Casper Heijsteeg at the time.

The report now shows that there were some candidates for a restart, but that in the end nothing came of it. Now the trustee can not sell more than the remains of the estate.

The estate is also very lean. The company’s premises were rented and the company car and electric charging bikes were leased. The amounts that the company still owed from customers were partially pledged to the financier.

public money

The AKEF Climate Fund, which is financed with public funds from the municipality of Amsterdam, seems to have already invested 800,000 euros of the promised 1.2 million euros in the company. The vast majority of it must be considered lost.

AKEF is still trying to recover part of the money from the amounts that Parcls had credited from customers. The fund says it has had these assets as collateral for its loans. There were still around 90,000 euros in outstanding, but it is unlikely that the full amount can be recovered.

Dispute with curator

The trustee has now crossed paths with the fund because she believes that no ‘significant part of the debtor portfolio’ has been pledged at all. As a result of the dispute between the trustee and the fund, some creditors have now completely stopped paying back.

Bakker says in a justification that a so-called mortgage ban was included in the contract with one of the debtors. Moreover, it is one of the largest parties from which the company had money. “It’s a lot of money, almost the entire debtor portfolio.”

According to the trustee, negotiations are now underway with AKEF, which disputes its view on a solution to the dispute.

Can not be saved

Fund manager Heijsteeg of AKEF denies that the fund’s claim on the assets at the beginning of May was the direct cause of the suspension of payments and the subsequent bankruptcy. “The company could not be saved anyway. The amounts still to be paid by the debtors would not have been sufficient to pay the bills and salaries.”

Leave a Comment