Online shopping has surged amid the pandemic, forcing e-commerce companies to ramp up their fulfillment capacity. That’s good news for startups building e-commerce software such as Shipium.
The Seattle startup just raised $8 million to help online retailers with technology that improves operations inside their fulfillment centers. It’s the latest software startup to ride tailwinds from the e-commerce boom — others from the Seattle region to raise funding over the past year include Flexe, Stackline, Fabric, FlavorCloud, Pipe17, Pandion, and SoundCommerce.
Shipium, which GeekWire first covered in 2019, is led by two supply chain veterans: Jason Murray and Mac Brown. Murray spent nearly two decades at Amazon, running supply chain teams and overseeing thousands of employees as a vice president. Brown is also an early Amazon employee — the co-founders started three days apart from each other in 1999 — and later joined Zulily, where he was vice president of supply chain and fulfillment software for the Seattle online retailer.
Shipium’s mantra is to help online retailers “fight back” against Amazon, which has created customer expectations for delivery times that are difficult to meet for many companies without deep supply chain capabilities. That puts smaller retailers at a disadvantage; Amazon meanwhile has grown tremendously over the pandemic, setting records for revenue and profits.
Shipium’s API services work with existing systems and help companies make fulfillment decisions, such a deciding which shipping option is fastest or cheapest, or which box size is most optimal.
“For larger companies, software that usually addresses those similar decisions include 90s-era monolithic software like Oracle or SAP,” Murray said. “They underserve the e-commerce industry because the decisions they help make aren’t thinking about e-commerce outcomes, like hitting customer delivery date promises.”
The 10-person startup makes money using an infrastructure software-as-a-service model. Shipium has a handful of well-known brands as customers and will process tens of millions of shipments this year. It declined to provide revenue metrics; the company is not profitable.
“E-commerce companies can offer their customers fast or free shipping and a competitive customer experience by applying modern software to existing assets today,” Brown said in a statement. “A Prime-like experience does not require a complete reconfiguration of physical operations.”
Trilogy Equity Partners led the round. Zulily co-founder Darrell Cavens invested, along with PSL Ventures and Good Friends. Total funding to date is $10 million.