Shippo, the shipping technology startup, announced on Tuesday that it raised $45 million in funding from its existing investors, according to a company blog post. The startup said the funding round values it at half a billion dollars.
The company plans to use the funding to grow its global presence, revamp its core products, provide shipping capabilities for more online platforms and marketplaces, and hire 150 more employees. The company also opened a hub in Austin, Texas, to grow its workforce, the company said.
The company integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce, Square, Wix, GoDaddy and other popular e-commerce platforms. It also provides shipping services for marketplaces like OfferUp, Depop, Mercari, Curtsy and eBay Canada, according to the announcement.
Amazon's advantage in shipping and e-commerce is well-known, but Shippo is hoping to provide other companies with similar functionality.
Going forward, merchants of all sizes need to keep up with Amazon's speed, customer experience and infrastructure, and Shippo hopes to provide that level of functionality for emerging marketplaces and platforms, the company said. Shippo currently has 80 carriers on its platform, mostly in North America, but it seeks to grow its reach internationally, starting with Western Europe, per the company announcement.
"Our vision is to build Amazon Prime for everyone else," Laura Behrens Wu, CEO and co-founder of Shippo, wrote in the announcement. "We want to put [small and mid-sized businesses] at a competitive advantage by setting a new bar for SMB shipping."
To do that, the company has signed partnerships with some of the biggest e-commerce platforms, as well as other players in the space. In 2019, Shippo partnered with UPS to lower shipping costs and waive fees for 35,000 small and mid-sized online retailers using Shippo's platform.
As the COVID-19 pandemic pushes consumers to shop more online, faster delivery remains a challenge for retailers. None of the 116 retailers measured in a 2020 Accenture report were able to deliver goods within a day, compared to three retailers that did so the previous year. The technology exists to do so, but companies are still trying to figure out how to accelerate the last-mile delivery time.