Shipium, a supply chain software company announced its Series A funding on April 14. The $27.5M funding round is the largest ever Series A for a supply chain software provider and brings the company’s total funding to $38.7M. Shipium, which calls itself a “fulfillment management platform for e-commerce retail” posits that with the right modern solutions, any e-commerce retailer can compete with Amazon. Amazon, the e-commerce titan and de facto measuring stick for all things online retail, is on the resumes of both Mac Brown and Jason Murray, who co-founded Shipium in 2019.
Amazon’s massive success in e-commerce has highlighted the astounding importance of customer experience, as the company’s focus early on was to provide a better shopping experience than anything else on the web. Numerous touchpoints throughout the shopping journey sum up to the customer experience, but in the last mile it boils down to promising fast and free shipping and then delivering on that promise – something which Amazon has done for nearly a decade thanks in large part to its scale. Customers are increasingly making shopping decisions based on how quickly and reliably they will receive their order. In a recent VDC survey, retailers ranked “keeping up with customer expectations” as a top 3 challenge for the next two years, as well as the next four to six years (Exhibit 1). For both time horizons, the only challenges ranked as more impactful were input cost increases (as we face near double-digit inflation) and bottlenecks further up the supply chain. Shipium’s solutions are built to help e-commerce sellers in the United States promise and deliver on free & fast delivery without annihilating margins, enabling them to compete with Amazon’s customer experience.
Exhibit 1: Anticipated impact of challenges to last mile operations, next 48-72 months (MEAN: Likert scale 1 = least impactful; 7 = most impactful)
Shipium’s substantial Series A is not unique and highlights a streak of strong funding in the supply chain software space over the past year or two. While some in the supply chain were aware of and embraced technological innovations prior to pandemic-driven supply chain constraints, those challenges have accelerated adoption as it became clear, across the board, that it was time to move on from spreadsheet or pen and paper-based systems. In January, real-time visibility provider and tech unicorn project44 announced a $420M Series F that brought the company’s total funding to over $800M, a record for Logistics Tech enterprise SaaS companies. Tive, which competes with project44, is also capitalizing on venture capital’s interest in the space, having announced a $54M Series B earlier this month. Other solutions in the supply chain are also experiencing plentiful funding, especially robotics and automation solutions that seek to alleviate current and anticipated labor challenges – last week, Agility Robotics announced a $150M Series B to develop its humanoid robots which augment human workers productivity in warehouse and logistics environments.
There are myriad innovative companies attempting to overhaul last mile delivery and e-commerce logistics to challenge Amazon’s dominance in the space. Shipium and Project44 are profiled alongside other e-commerce innovators in VDC’s recently published report Addressing Last Mile Delivery Service Challenges with Modern Mobile Solutions. The report analyzes how solutions are evolving to increase speed, decrease cost, and improve the customer experience from fulfillment to delivery, as well as in returns. E-commerce logistics solutions are discussed more broadly in VDC’s 2021 E-commerce Logistics: From Receiving to Reverse Logistics. For more information about these reports, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.