On Jan. 28, Bond, an e-commerce startup, raised $15 million to finish and launch three last-mile consumer-focused mobile apps, the company announced in a press release emailed to Retail Dive. Lightspeed Venture Partners participated in the funding round, along with MizMaa Ventures and TLV Partners, according to a company statement.
Bond currently manages the post-purchase experiences for more than 30 online retailers in New York's Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as New Jersey. The startup plans to open more nano distribution centers (NDCs) in the New York metro area by March, and expand to two more cities by the third quarter in 2020, according to the release.
Bond currently processes about 15,000 deliveries per month, including oddly-shaped goods like mattresses or items requiring temperature control like desserts, the company noted in its statement.
The Bond investment is the latest retail investment for Lightspeed Venture Partners. The venture capital firm has also invested in Vinted and Dote. Tal Morgenstern, a partner at Lightspeed, noted in a statement that the firm sees last-mile delivery as one of the top issues facing direct-to-consumer brands.
"Customer experience is very much at the core of these brands, but this important touchpoint with the end-user in the real world is often handled by 3rd parties and can be destructive if handled poorly," Morgenstern said.
Bond's technology and operational system emerged as a result of Shookit, the Israeli online grocery startup, the company noted in its press release. After launching the tech at Shookit, the company grew from $500,000 to a $10 million annual run rate in 15 months, per the press release.
"Online brands spend tons of money on ensuring consumers have the absolute best user experience while on their website, yet are forced to entrust couriers to deliver products with that same level of care and attention—and all too often they don't," Asaf Hachmon, co-founder and CEO of Bond, said in a statement.
Bond isn't the only company looking to solve the last-mile delivery problem. Retailers and shipping companies like Amazon, Walmart and FedEx have been working to find the fulfillment sweet spot that enables them to deliver purchases quickly and cheaply to customers.
DTC brands also recognize the challenges of delivery, causing some to tackle delivery head-on, like furniture company Article, which has taken delivery in-house in some of its key markets.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated which company grew to a $10 million annual run rate. It was Shookit.