The beauty of today’s technological age is that in the endless stream of photo-sharing, anonymous-chat, and dating apps, once in a while a startup comes along that uses its tech to make logistics for small businesses a little less painful.
Shippo is one such startup. And the company, which seeks to make shipping a breeze for small businesses, is announcing today that it has closed $2 million in seed funding and a shiny new partnership with GoDaddy to instantly connect with all of GoDaddy’s small business customers.
You can think of Shippo as a service that’s as convenient as going to FedEx’s website and creating, prepaying, and printing a shipment label. But with Shippo, its interface is integrated into your business’s online storefront dashboard — and you’re not restricted to FedEx. In fact, Shippo has accounts and partnerships with a large variety of shipping providers, so it gives you the best deal for each shipment you make.
Shippo only charges $0.05 per label, plus the actual cost of shipping which can be up to 80 percent less than the retail price, co-founder Laura Behrens Wu told VentureBeat in an interview.
The reason for that is volume. Shippo uses a single “customer” account with each shipping provider it does business with, which means that putting through all of its own customers’ packages can get it discount because of the massive volume of shipping it does.
In a way, it’s quite similar to EasyPost, which enables companies to easily integrate the USPS, UPS, DHL, and FedEx shipping APIs.
Because Shippo targets small businesses, it’s been integrating with online storefront tools for small businesses such as Etsy, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento, and so on, to make itself available to masses of small businesses. Businesses using one of the above have the option to use Shippo’s app within the platform for easy access to shipping as they run their business from there. And as mentioned, Shippo is now partnering up with GoDaddy to provide its shipping service to all small business customers on GoDaddy.
Through its API, Shippo also powers the shipping for marketplaces such as Vinted, a peer-to-peer marketplace for second-hand clothing. Shipping-on-demand startup Shyp also uses Shippo’s API on the backend, although the company decided not to share the details.
With its new seed funding, the company plans on continuing to look for such opportunities for growth.
“I personally see the most opportunity in connecting to marketplaces,” said Behrens Wu. “That opportunity is much larger than going into individual small businesses.”
With its new funds, Shippo also plans to focus on customer acquisition (it hopes for 20 percent month-over-month growth) and to continue building out features to cater to its larger customers, such pre-printed return labels for subscription services, and so on. It’s also working to make sure its service can scale and handle larger volume of traffic and shipping requests as its customer base grows.
And although the company isn’t particularly planning an international expansion, it does occasionally build out its service in regions its big customers request. For example, Because of Vinted’s large presence in France, Shippo went in and made its service available with French shipping.
SofTech led this round of funding, with additional participation from Version One Ventures, FundersClub, Dave Morin’s Slow Ventures, 500 Startups, East Ventures, Digital Business Factory, Joanne Wilson, Fabrice Grinda, Karl Jacob, and Fadu Ghandour.
Shippo was founded in 2013 by Laura Behrens Wu and Simon Kreuz and is based in San Francisco. The company participated in 500 Startup’s Batch 8.