Way To Deliver: Doubling Down On Our Investment In ShipBob

Ajay
Ajay
Jun 29 · 3 min read
Divey (in the box!) and Dhruv — ShipBob’s founders

Today, we are thrilled to announce that Bain Capital Ventures is leading the $200M Series E round for Shipbob, at a valuation well north of $1B. When we first partnered with the company as investors in 2017, ShipBob was just raising its first post-seed financing, and offered pick-and-pack services from a handful of fulfillment centers. Four short years later founders Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati have built ShipBob into the leading independent logistics platform for modern ecommerce brands.

In the years since our original investment, several lessons have become even more clear, further driving our conviction around this financing:

Fast, Personalized Fulfillment Is Mission-Critical

On behalf of merchants, ShipBob is solving not only for shipping speed — two days or less from click to doorstep, in most cases — but also for personalization, with custom boxes and inserts that reflect the brand image and promise. Along the way, both the brand and the end customer have full visibility into the status of their order and its delivery. Consumer expectations have only grown, and merchants recognize that world-class logistics can be as impactful as their web and mobile front-end in driving conversion and repeat purchases.

The Power Of Full-Stack

A key bet that Dhruv and Divey made at the outset was that a true full-stack approach was required. While other players saw the problem as a thin layer of digitization on top of traditional warehouse networks, ShipBob built from-scratch software for every key component in a cloud fulfillment service: warehouse management, fulfillment execution, inventory management, replenishment, network optimization, and shipping integrations. This product footprint requires a massive engineering investment, but the payoff for our merchants is an end-to-end system that can be scaled infinitely and efficiently, anywhere in the world.

The Benefits Of A Scalable Cloud Approach

ShipBob’s solution provides a global network of warehouses, and merchants can utilize that network “on demand,” similar to developers scaling on AWS or Azure. This network includes full redundancy and fail-over, continuing to function even if one particular warehouse is offline or at capacity. During the past fifteen months, a global pandemic tested the network like never before: various warehouses faced state-mandated lockdowns and shutdowns, certain brands and merchants were whipsawed by surges in demand (hand sanitizers!), and the largest Cyber Monday in history put an exclamation point on a step-change year for ecommerce sales. Nonetheless, ShipBob emerged from 2020 having fulfilled its promises to consumers and enabled massive growth for its merchants.

An Incredible Team

Four years ago, Dhruv and Divey shared their vision with our partnership. They presented the typical hockey stick revenue projections that every founder shows at the Series A… except in their case, those projections have played out and been exceeded! Moreover, during the intervening time ShipBob’s founders have continued to demonstrate nuts-and-bolts mastery of every aspect of their complex business, all while building a world-class leadership team.

In truth, we are still in the early innings of commerce moving online, with more categories, and untold numbers of existing and emergent brands and retailers ready to make the transition. Modern merchants need modern fulfillment, and ShipBob offers a unique combination of incredible leadership, cloud-scalable infrastructure, and full-stack software that delivers delightful visibility, speed, and personalization to customers everywhere. As we look to the next decade, the lessons we’ve learned and the track record that ShipBob has delivered on leaves us more bullish than ever on their opportunity ahead.

Ideas from Bain Capital Ventures

Ideas and perspectives from the Bain Capital Ventures team.