On-demand warehousing and fulfillment firm FLEXE has raised $43 million in Series B funding, led by Activate Capital and Tiger Global Management, with participation from Madrona Venture Group and follow-on investments from Redpoint Ventures, Prologis Ventures and others.
This brings its funding total to $63.5 million, and Raj Atluru, managing director at Activate Capital, has joined the FLEXE board of directors. The company was founded in 2013.
Much like Airbnb on the vacation rental side, FLEXE matches companies in need of warehouse and fulfillment space with building owners who have excess capacity to let on a temporary basis, often 3PLs. This category is growing rapidly as fulfillment space is at a premium in a perpetually tight market driven by ecommerce demand. Other providers in the category include Darkstore and Flowspace.
“FLEXE is reinventing warehousing and fulfillment,” said co-founder and CEO Karl Siebrecht in a blog post announcing the funding. “We have taken something traditionally static and rigid and created an entirely new model from a technology-first mindset. In doing so, we’ve made warehousing and fulfillment flexible, simple and scalable — giving our clients what we call ‘structural flexibility.’ ”
FLEXE clients include Staples, Toms, Ace Hardware, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, hims, Lime and Great Jones. The company said it tripled its revenue growth in 2018, and was named the fastest growing company in Washington State and 18th fastest-growing company in North America by Deloitte.
“What we needed at Walmart was a storage and throughput solution to meet 90 to 120 day (needs),” said Justin Schuhardt, Walmart’s senior director of supply chain M&A at last October’s CSCMP Edge, on a panel with Siebrecht. “Everything from receiving, starting in that first day to exiting a warehouse, had to happen under 120 days, but ideally closer to 90. That’s a very short time period in warehousing. How do you go and find someone to do that? But that’s what we needed on the fulfillment side, primarily ecommerce fulfillment.”
Adrian Grigg, vice president of business development at FLEXE, took part in a panel discussion on ecommerce network expansion strategies at last month’s Ecommerce Operations Summit 2019.
FLEXE plans to expand development of its technology platform and more than double the size of its team. It has recently moved into a new headquarters in Seattle, and added executives from Outreach, zulily and Amazon.