SoftBank leads $68 million investment in eCommerce startup ShipBob to expand its global eCommerce fulfillment solution
ShipBob, a Chicago-based eCommerce tech startup that provides Amazon level logistics to small to mid-sized businesses, today announced it has raised $68 million in Series D financing was led by the Japanese tech giant SoftBank Vision Fund. ShipBob will use the fresh funding to enhance its capabilities to bring world-class fulfillment to more customers, fuel growth, expand its software platform, and scale its global fulfillment network.
Previous backers include Menlo Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, and Y Combinator. To date, ShipBob has raised $130.5 million in total funding. With this investment, ShipBob joins other big tech companies the SoftBank Vision Fund has invested in, including companies like Uber, Slack, ByteDance, Opendoor, Nvidia, Flipkart, Flexport, Doordash, and Arm. In conjunction with the funding, ShipBob also announced that SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner, Ervin Tu, will be joining its board of directors.
Founded in 2014, ShipBob was launched through Y Combinator by co-founders Dhruv Saxena Divey Gulati, two entrepreneurs who saw a need for more efficient shipping in the marketplace for small businesses. ShipBob’s solution focuses on the unique needs of direct-to-consumer retail brands and their need to manage inventory and ship orders safely and quickly while maintaining their brand identity.
ShipBob is a tech-enabled 3PL that offers simple, fast, and affordable fulfillment for eCommerce businesses. Its software combines order and inventory management, warehouse management, predictive data, and analytics, as well as optimized shipping for eCommerce companies.
“When we started this company, our mission was to build ShipBob into the default eCommerce logistics solution for all direct-to-consumer brands around the world,” said Dhruv Saxena, CEO, and co-founder of ShipBob. “That mission has not only remained but has become even more important with the accelerated digital shifts happening across all industries today.”
ShipBob integrates with all leading eCommerce platforms and marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, and Squarespace. These integrations enable nearly all emerging brands to provide fast shipping to their customers without having to handle fulfillment themselves. Beyond fulfillment, partners, and integrations such as returns management, inventory management, and financing solutions can be activated in ShipBob’s apps marketplace to provide brands with a one-stop-shop to manage their business.
To enable such powerful capabilities, ShipBob built its entire fulfillment technology stack, from its merchant-facing software to its warehouse management system (WMS). ShipBob’s WMS is used within all ten of their fulfillment centers across the United States, Canada, and Europe, which allows them to stand up new facilities in weeks instead of quarters. ShipBob expects to open two more US facilities in Q4 and another ten facilities across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia in 2021.
“We are democratizing best-in-class fulfillment for thousands of eCommerce brands who are shipping millions of items per month,” said Divey Gulati, President, and co-founder of ShipBob. “Bringing in additional investment from a global leader like SoftBank will allow us to expand our fulfillment center footprint across the United States and the rest of the world even faster.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, ShipBob has seen an even greater acceleration in new customers needing their solution, and their nine-figure business is growing over 100 percent year-over-year and is cash-flow positive. To support this influx in demand, ShipBob has opened six new fulfillment centers since April, including their two international locations. In addition, they have hired hundreds of new fulfillment associates over the last few months and will hire hundreds more leading up to the holiday peak season.
“Logistics is an enormous industry that has seen rapid growth alongside eCommerce adoption,” said Ervin Tu, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “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.”