A ShipBob fulfillment center in Cicero, IL (photo credit: Chicago Tribune)
ShipBob, a provider of third-party logistics with facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe, has raised $68 million to fuel growth, expand its platform and more than double its global network, a signal of the significant venture capital flowing into logistics to support the ecommerce explosion.
The Series D financing was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Prior investors include Menlo Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels and Y Combinator. This brings the company’s total funds raised to date to $130.5 million.
“Logistics is an enormous industry that has seen rapid growth alongside ecommerce adoption,” said Ervin Tu, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers in a release. “ShipBob is leveraging data and innovative technology and operations to grow its business and drive significant increases in revenue and profits. The company is on track to be the market-leading solution for SMB and larger merchants around the world.”
Dhruv Saxena, CEO and co-founder of ShipBob, said the company already integrates with many leading ecommerce platforms and marketplaces including Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix and Squarespace, as well as providers of returns management, inventory management and financing solutions through its apps marketplace. “We will continue to build out our integration list and add new features,” he said.
ShipBob also plans to expand its fulfillment center footprint across the U.S. and globally. “We expect to open two more U.S. facilities in Q4 2020 and another 10 across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia in 2021,” Saxena said.
He said ShipBob built its own technology stack, including its own WMS and other software powering its facilities, allowing it to stand up new ones faster. “We are able to go deep and fundamentally impact the day-to-day functioning within the FCs, from creating new algorithms to improve our picking density to improving inventory placement logic,” he said. “This helps us to improve efficiency, which makes our operations cheaper for our merchants and allows more to join our network, creating a virtuous loop.”
ShipBob has been doing “peak/Black Friday-type volumes” since the second quarter, Saxena said, hiring hundreds of new associates over the past few months with plans to hire hundreds more as the holidays approach. Major demand categories include household goods, consumer electronics and beauty/personal. The company has hired hundreds of new associates over the last few months and will hire hundreds more in the coming weeks.
“Based on our leading indicator metrics that we track internally across our customer data, we expect a very large Q4,” he said. “We have expanded our carrier partners, and we’re opening another two fulfillment centers in October.”