Startup Shipbeat yesterday announced a $ 1.6 M (€ 1.2 M) investment led by Sunstone, SEED Capital and Klaus Nyengaard. The investment will be used to further expand product capabilities, hiring and complete key ecommerce software integrations.
Shipbeat was founded in early 2014 to develop an API which aggregates the services of leading parcel delivery companies.
“Shipping is a key driver of conversion and retention in ecommerce. Consumers want choice and convenience. The lack of delivery options explain 20-70% of shopping cart abandonment,” said Kenneth Svenningsen, co-founder and CEO.
“Once you’ve found an ecommerce retailer that nails the delivery and returns experience, you’re much more likely to stick with them and order again and again.” he continues
Kenneth is scratching his own itch: as CTO of Miinto, a Nordic online fashion retailer, he found integrating logistics carriers incredibly frustrating:
“I’ve dealt with the same problems in Europe and in Asia. The carrier systems you work with are outdated and take forever to set up. Shipbeat enables all ecommerce merchants to compete with the likes of Amazon by on shipping options. Merchants are not developing their own payment gateways – there’s no reason they should be doing their own logistics integrations either.”
Ecommerce shipments continue to grow at a rapid pace, with over 16 billion parcels delivered to consumers per year around the world. In Europe alone, ecommerce merchants annually ship goods worth 225 billion Euros to consumers. The steep growth in parcels from online shopping has partially compensated traditional mail carriers, like Royal Mail and Deutsche Post, for the rapid decline in letters due to email. There remains, however, a cultural and engineering disconnect between these traditional firms and fast-moving ecommerce retailers.
HOW THE API WORKS – LOGISTICS AS A SERVICE
“Our solution is easy to get started with. You can automate shipping by providing basic info on what you need to ship, where to and from where via our API. We return the lowest possible rate for the shipment along with label, track’n’trace as well as booking pickup if necessary. Simple as that.” says Kenneth
More importantly you can use the API to real-time check and offer applicable delivery options from across all carriers for any shopping cart to satisfy your customers demand for convenience.
“Our API standardizes all carrier services, so you don’t have to worry about carrier products or problems when switching carrier; while still being able to offer specific services such as same-day, next-day, evening delivery or offering an optional delivery point at the lowest possible rate automatically and real-time.” he continues.
INVESTORS JOIN THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Helle Uth, Investment Manager at SEED Capital, and Max Niederhofer, General Partner at Sunstone Capital, are joining Shipbeat’s board of directors.
“As investors in ecommerce businesses, we know how important it is to nail logistics. Your customer likes your selection, your prices and has decided to buy. It’s absolutely crucial to offer her the convenience of same day, next day, evening or free delivery, including free returns. And it’s incredibly hard to do that with one or two carrier integrations – particularly internationally.” Says Helle Uth
Shipbeat’s “Logistics as a Service” API is in live beta in Denmark and will launch internationally in 2015.