Swedish Startup Space

Kivra: ‘We expect that Posten will become an aggressive competitor’

Written by on August 28, 2013

Today I’m talking with Sara Bjelkstam – marketing manager at Stockholm based startup Kivra – a company attempting to digitalize your snail mail.

The basic concept is that you can receive, manage and store all your postal mail (from companies) inside Kivra. Companies themselves will connect to Kivra and then consumers who receive mail from those companies can get their postal mail via Kivra.

It’s certainly an appealing concept – both from a user perspective and environmentally – but as always in these new spaces, bringing down the incumbents and radically altering consumer behavior will be tough. I caught up with Sara for a chat about it all.

Tell us about your background

After studying marketing at Stockholm School of Economics I had the great opportunity to work at Orc Software. It was quite an addictive experience, a truly entrepreneur­ial culture with great minds which made me stay there for seven years. After working with marketing and business development at a couple of digital marketing agencies, I am now back where I started in a new exciting venture with an ambitious goal!

What is Kivra and tell us more about the problem

Kivra is a Swedish startup providing a secure digital mailbox. In addition, in Sweden alone, approximately 1,5 billion B2C ­envelopes are sent each year, which clearly has a negative impact on the environment ­- and we intend to change that!

With Kivra you can receive, manage and store postal mail from companies and authorities that are connected to Kivra. Kivra is free of charge for the user and good for the environment!

This is definitely a challenging space, many incumbents and consumers resisting change. How will you overcome this?

If we would have invented the mail today, we wouldn’t have come up with the idea to cut down trees, produce paper and then distribute the paper in envelopes to physical mailboxes. Kivra is revolutionizing and hence reinventing the postal mail market, aiming to progressively digitize all snail mail.

Our vision is to simplify peoples everyday life by letting you receive, mange and store your important mail in your smartphone, tablet or computer. Wherever, whenever!

How have the ‘incumbents’ responded to Kivra?

The Swedish government wants Sweden to be world leader in digitalization. One of the key messages is that they think innovation need to be developed by innovative market players. In line with this strategic priority, the government has given the task to the Swedish tax authority to create an infrastructural framework “Mina meddelanden” which gives Swedish citizens the opportunity to receive authority mail electronically in secure digital mailboxes. Hence the Swedish Post has equal rights as Kivra to supply citizens with a digital mailbox. We expect that the Swedish Posten will become an aggressive competitor but so far Kivra and Brevo have been the only two active digital mailboxes in the market.

You just mentioned Brevo – another player in this market you recently acquired. Tell us about that

Recently we strengthened our position as the market leader on the market for digital postal mail in Sweden by acquiring Brevo. A key to success is to attract as many users and senders as possible. The merger is a milestone and gives us over half a million users in Sweden. We have a really exciting autumn coming up where we will focusing on integrating Brevo and meet with more companies who want to add digital mail as a communication channel.

Where will Kivra be in 5 years?

In 5 years, Kivra will simplify everyday life for many, many people and at the same time have saved millions of trees!

Thanks Sara!

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