Shippo, a shipping software platform provider, has raised $45 million in a new funding round, with plans to invest in product and engineering teams as well as exploring ways to extend its technology into the pre- and post-purchase realms to increase the value and stickiness of its offering.
The company has also doubled its valuation in the past year to nearly $500 million – half a unicorn – as well as doubling its revenue, for which gross postage volume (GPM) is a rough correlate. Shippo says it has more than 110,000 merchant clients.
“Merchants need to keep up with Amazon’s shipping speed, infrastructure, and consumer experience,” said Shippo co-founder Laura Behrens Wu in a blog post on the new funding. “The goal is to set a new bar for SMB shipping for everyone who’s not Amazon.”
Mario Paganini, CMO of Shippo, said its more than doubling its customer base as well as shipping spend in the past year put them in a good position to raise capital and take the business to the next level.
“We’re not in the business of raising money for the sake of having it,” Paganini said. “It’s more the ability to make investments that will further differentiate us and fuel future success.”
Paganini said the importance of shipping for merchants has moved far beyond simply getting a good carrier rate and printing a label to becoming a tool that can positively affect customer behavior.
“It’s more an end-to-end workflow, from when customer lands on the site, and it doesn’t end when they receive their package,” Paganini said. “It influences whether or not they come back, write a positive review or generate greater lifetime value. We see a lot of opportunity to refine our existing platform, branching into tools in the pre-purchase world, so marketers can be smarter about promoting shipping, with more precise costs and ETAs. If they do that well, they can use us as a mechanism to increase conversions and cart size.”
In terms of post-purchase functions, he said Shippo may look for ways to “create more branded, intimate touchpoints” such as improving the returns process by putting more detail into tracking and customer communication.
Beyond that, Paganini said Shippo will continue to broaden and deepen its partner network across major carriers, ecommerce platforms, online marketplaces and fulfillment software providers like WMS, becoming more embedded and connected through its APIs. It is also hiring 150 new employees this year and adding a hub in Austin in addition to its home base in San Francisco, with plans to expand internationally as well.
Ecommerce platform partners include Shopify, Square, Woo Commerce BigCommerce and Wix, while marketplaces include OfferUp, Depop, Mercari, GOAT, Whatnot, Curtsy and eBay Canada.