Receiving a package in the mail is always a treat, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
While in-person shopping opportunities are dwindling, consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to satisfy their retail therapy needs. But after a purchase is made, packages often have to go through an array of hurdles before they’re delivered to their final destination. For smaller sized e-commerce merchants, this presents a complex challenge.
San Francisco-based company Shippo is on a mission to help e-commerce companies manage their shipping operations more efficiently.
Shippo more than doubled total shipping spend on its platform in 2020 and now the company is receiving a fresh investment to keep up the momentum. The company announced Tuesday that it raised $45 million in a Series D round led by D1 Capital Partners.
The fresh investment brings Shippo’s valuation to $495 million, according to the company. Since its last financing round in April, the company’s valuation has nearly doubled.
“The irony is that this shift toward online shopping has actually created a remarkably offline problem in shipping: the undeniable convergence of the digital and physical worlds,” Laura Behrens Wu, CEO of Shippo, said in a statement. “You have to pack boxes, find a shipping provider to pick them up, and often interface with real people delivering via trucks in the last mile. It’s an incredibly complex web to navigate and a lot can go wrong.”
Due to services like Amazon Prime, most consumers expect their packages to arrive in a week or less, according to Wu. This presents a problem for a lot of small businesses that don’t have access to large-scale delivery fleets and digital infrastructure. That’s where Shippo steps in.
Shippo aims to democratize the shipping industry by bringing quicker delivery capabilities to small and medium-sized businesses.
The company’s platform provides online shoppers with a view of available shipping options and rates. Shoppers then sort through the options to figure out which is best in terms of their preferred cost and speed of delivery.
Shippo then centralizes those SMB orders and provides business owners with the corresponding shipping label, packing slip and delivery information so that they can focus, instead of getting wrapped up in shipping logistics, on running their business.
The company currently works with 80 mail carriers in North America, including the United States Postal Service, FedEx and UPS. Following this fresh investment, Shippo is looking to make a leap across the pond. Western Europe is stop number one on the company’s international expansion quest.
As part of its growth effort, the company will continue to invest in its core product as well as “rapidly” hire for its team. In 2020, Shippo added 80 employees to its roster and the company is looking to add 150 more employees by the end of this year.
The company is now hiring for dozens of open tech positions at its San Francisco headquarters in addition to its new hub in Austin. Several remote positions are also on the table. Positions span nearly every department including engineering, marketing, customer success and sales.
Shippo has raised $104.3 million in financing to date, according to Crunchbase.
Investors in the company include Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson and Stripe CEO Patrick Collison. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Uncork Capital and Version One Ventures participated in the round, among others.