Grand Rapids Venture Capital acquires Professional Courier Services

Steve Barnes, founder and CEO of Grand Rapids Venture Capital, last month acquired Professional Courier Services from Cathy Smith. Courtesy Steve Barnes

A recently formed venture capital firm acquired a same-day small package delivery and errand service business.

Steve Barnes, founder and CEO of Grand Rapids Venture Capital, which he established in January 2020, last month acquired Professional Courier Services, based at 124 Lyon St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Professional Courier Services is a same-day, small-package delivery/errand service business founded by Cathy Smith in 1978 to meet the needs of the legal community.

Today, the company offers same day, on-demand delivery services for court filings, package delivery, store delivery, lab pickup, expedited package pickup/delivery, deposit pickup and samples pickup for banks, advertising agencies, hospitals, accounting firms, national and international expediting companies, and numerous other businesses.

Smith engaged Grand Rapids-based Small Business Deal Advisors to assist with the sale so she could retire.

“After investing over 40 years in building my business, I had no clue or expertise in turning around and valuing and cashing in on my years of work,” she said. “I found their knowledge and research in establishing a fair value and marketing plan crucial to start this process. Once we hit the market, there was immediate interest from multiple parties. My broker, Scott (Nicholson), assisted me in vetting and sorting through potential buyers. … I truly appreciate the service, knowledge and expertise I received from Scott and Small Business Deal Advisors in the relatively smooth and expedient sale of my business.”

As one of three co-founders of the local companies Genius Phone Repair, Mobile Defenders, Tech Defenders and Podsix, Barnes still holds an interest in the aforementioned companies, but he created GR Venture Capital to find new investment opportunities.

He said PCS fits the description of the type of company he was looking to buy, as GR Venture Capital plans to make investments in small- to mid-market companies from startup to $2 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) within the technology, distribution and logistics industries. The firm also seeks to become an expert in succession-based acquisitions and minority investments with strong operators.

Barnes said he wants to keep PCS’s core values intact while growing the business.

“I will aim to keep the same high level of service PCS has given (its) customers over the years while implementing new modern branding and marketing,” he said. “We will also be bringing new technology systems to our customers and expanding into electric vehicles and larger-load, white-glove delivery. In addition to the courier and transportation business, we will be offering third-party logistics and warehousing/fulfillment services to an array of distribution clients. “

Barnes plans to keep the company’s existing 18 employees, two contractors and its current location while also adding a last-mile warehouse near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and hiring more drivers and support staff to accommodate new demand.

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