Poland's Newest Billionaire Cashes In On Pandemic-Fueled E-Commerce Frenzy To Join The Three Comma Club

By on February 17, 2021 in ArticlesBillionaire News

Rafal Brzoska is Poland's newest billionaire and it took a pandemic to elevate his net worth to the three comma club. The 44-year-old is the founder of InPost SA, a postal-locker company. Shares in his company have surged more than 32% since it made its debut on the Amsterdam stock market on January 26th. The IPO valued the company at $9.7 billion, making Brzoska's 12% stake worth $1.5 billion. Brzoska is the CEO of InPost, which started out as a logistics company and over the course of five years, has morphed into a technology company.

Brzoska created the company Integer.pl in 1999 while he was a student at Krakow University of Economics. Integer.pl distributed bulk mail advertising leaflets for pizza restaurants as well as a range of other businesses. He moved on to challenge Poland's post office by offering cheaper delivery of utility bills. Poland's private postal services have a minimum weight requirement. To subvert this, Brzoska inserted small metal plates in each piece of mail. In 2013, he successfully landed a contract to deliver letters for Poland's judicial system. He also started working on his idea for a network of parcel lockers located in public places. That idea became InPost, which allows customers to pick up and drop off packages from the parcel lockers instead of waiting for packages to be delivered at home. People access the lockers with codes sent via text message.

Rafal Brzoska via James Button Group sp. z o.o./wikimedia/creative commons

InPost's success made him one of the youngest millionaires in Poland. His entrepreneurial nature got under the skin of Poland's state-run State Post and they fought Brzoska to regain control of those judicial system/court mail deliveries. That was a significant hit to Brzoska's business. His company nearly went under. Fortunately, an investment from private-equity firm Advent International kept Brzoska from going under. Another investment from KKR & Co, helped InPost restructure its debt and grow. As of the end of 2020, InPost owns 12,254 parcel machines in Poland and the U.K. InPost handled 249 million deliveries in 2020 as the pandemic increased the number of e-commerce purchases being made.

InPost raised $3.4 billion in its IPO, which was Europe's largest IPO since 2018. Shares debuted at 16 euros each, which was the top end of its projected range. By 10:08 am on the day of InPost's IPO, shares had climbed 26% to 20.22 euros. InPost is the biggest debut on a European exchange since Germany's Knorr-Bremse AG, a maker of truck and train brakes that raised $4.5 billion in its October 2018 IPO. InPost chose to make its debut in Amsterdam due to its concentration of technology-focused investors. InPost plans to expand to France, Spain, and Italy in the near future.

Brzoska made his debut on the list of the richest people in Poland in 2011. On the 2015 list of the richest Poles, he was ranked 68th. With the IPO, Brzoska's $1.5 billion net worth leaves him tied for the sixth richest person in Poland.

Brzoska is married to television weather presenter Omena Mensah. The couple has a son named Vincent who was born in 2017. Brzoska is also an author of the books "Tomorrow in New York" and "Biblia e-business 2."

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