Business Startups Venture

Shippo Raises $30M To Make Shipping ‘As Easy As Sending A Text Message’

Shippo, a shipping and order management platform for “growing” ecommerce businesses, announced today that it has closed $30 million in Series C funding.

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D1 Capital Partners led the round for San Francisco-based Shippo, which nearly doubled its total raised since inception in 2013 to $59.3 million. Bessemer Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Uncork Capital and Version One Ventures also participated in the round.

Shippo co-founder and CEO Laura Behrens Wu said that the premise behind her company is that shipping shouldn’t be viewed as a cost center, but rather as a growth engine.

“When used properly, shipping is a tool for businesses to gain consumer confidence, increase conversions and drive repeat buying by building loyalty,” she said. The company’s goal is to make shipping “as easy as sending a text message.”

With Shippo, merchants can connect all of their sales channels–Shopify, Wix, Square, eBay, Amazon, and others–to manage end-to-end shipping. The services also include checkout experience, purchasing labels, tracking shipments from over 50 global shipping carriers and returns automated in one place. Shippo’s platform connects to not only e-commerce platforms but also to marketplaces and warehouses.

Differentiator

To date, more than 35,000 brands (including GOAT, OfferUp, and hims & hers) have shipped over 150 million orders with Shippo’s software. Shippo claims that businesses it works with see an average of 77 percent growth year over year.

“The market we are going after is every retailer who isn’t Amazon … an e-commerce company plugs us in and they instantly have access to everything they need for shipping, from pre-purchase to fulfillment,” Behrens Wu told Crunchbase News. “Ordinarily, these are all different, complicated steps involving several players and challenges both technically and on the business side. We vastly simplify the process, which lets our customers focus on their businesses.”

Shippo co-founder and CEO Laura Behrens Wu

Shippo claims to be the only true end-to-end platform in the market. While it does not own or operate any warehouses, it says it supports every piece of the digital shipping process.

It also claims it’s the only platform capable of servicing merchants of all sizes with both a web application and an API.

“Our web application connects to virtually all sales channels with a couple of clicks–no coding or integration work required–and is easily accessible for customers that are not shipping or tech experts,” Behrens Wu said. “We also have a robust and  flexible API offering, which we built our web application on top of and offer to larger merchants and e-commerce platforms that want to build custom workflows and integrations.”

Growth

Shippo would not disclose specific financial or growth data, saying only it doubled its revenue from 2018 to 2019. Behrens Wu also noted that the startup made its $20 million Series B (raised in October 2017) last for “quite a while, which can serve as an indicator of how profitable the business is.”

As of April 1, the company had 92 employees, up from 51 a year prior.

Shippo plans to use the new capital to continue to expand both its product and team to support “more larger merchants.” It also plans to make significant investments in expanding its pre-purchase and post-purchase capabilities.

In the past year, Shippo has boosted its global profile. For example, it inked an exclusive deal with eBay Canada to be its exclusive shipping solution, and this year, it’s working on deeper relationships with major European and Asian-Pacific carriers.

New hire

Also today, Shippo announced that Catherine Stewart, formerly chief business officer at Automattic will join the company as chief operating officer.

In a statement, Stewart noted that while ecommerce has grown rapidly, shipping has been slower to adapt “with cumbersome and often outdated technology.”

“For many small and medium-sized businesses, shipping goods to customers is still expensive and time-consuming,” she added. “Shippo’s ability to solve these challenges for both small businesses and large brands positions it well for future growth.”

Indeed, a recent report by Statista found that in 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $3.53 trillion, with e-retail revenue projected to grow to $6.54 trillion in 2022.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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