This post is authored by Greg Price, CEO & Cofounder, and Jason Traff, President & Cofounder, of Shipwell.
Today marks an important day in Shipwell’s history. We’re excited to announce that Shipwell has raised a $35m Series B funding round, led by Georgian Partners with participation from our existing investors.
If you’re a Shipwell customer, thank you for being on this journey with us. It’s just the beginning of delivering the most intelligent supply solutions on the market today.
If you’ve got a minute or two, I’d like to take a few minutes to reflect on our past and to think about our future.
Three years ago, I co-founded Shipwell with Jason Traff to put a dent in the philosophical “universe” of supply chain visibility, automation, and connectivity. I had just finished spending time at MIT and McKinsey & Company, where I worked with companies that have the largest supply chains in the world and learned that the entire ecosystem is mostly untouched by modern technology, still lacks visibility and automation, and that only a select few companies truly saw their supply chain as a competitive advantage.
Time and again, I saw how a company could spend over US$5 billion a year and yet not have performance metrics, not know where their shipments were, and not be able to adapt to customer demands. I observed this throughout many industries such as Oil & Gas, Retail, Grocery, Manufacturing, and CPG to name a few. So when I left McKinsey in 2016, I recruited Jason to see if we could solve these problems that constrain a US$16 trillion dollar worldwide industry.
The challenge of putting your entire supply chain in a single pane of glass
There are many challenges when starting a company from scratch. In fact, all of the odds are against you: no customers, no team, no funds, and a product or service vision that is likely on a larger incumbent’s roadmap. Many first-time entrepreneurs fail from one of these challenges, while suffering from a lack of product market fit, wrong timing, or a failure to launch.
Shipwell is my second startup and Jason’s third so we understood the challenges we were taking on, knew first-hand the problems, and saw the opportunity. Our vision was to use modern technology like APIs, cloud computing, connected IoT devices, and machine learning to connect, automate, and optimize the world’s supply chains.
Simply put, we wanted to take an entire supply chain and put it in a single pane of glass united behind a RESTful API to integrate, automate, and optimize how you run your business.
How technology can make shipping delightful
We began our company journey in over-the-road trucking, specifically in the less-than-truckload segment, for customers that deal with e-commerce. We saw how companies could spend $5, $50, or even $500 million on shipping every year and still be underserved by existing solutions. We found many challenges but saw customer traction with real-time visibility, automation, and centralizing their existing supply chain relationships through direct connections into them.
This theme continued as we built increasingly automated ways to rate, dispatch, track, and reconcile freight shipments through developing applications, APIs, and services. We found that there were structural, infrastructure issues that affected our ability to offer the level of automation, data fidelity, and connection that our customers wanted.
So we went even deeper with integrations into e-commerce platforms, ERPs, and other solutions so that we could use the data and our machine learning techniques to provide better tracking, ETA’s, and pricing automation. Always with the aim of putting our customers’ entire supply chain in one, easy-to-use platform.
To fully unlock the value of the platform, we expanded the product into additional shipping modes, such as full-truckload and drayage, and found great partnerships with some of the largest, most established providers in telematics, trucking, and third-party logistics.
These connections allow us to provide the highest quality of real-time data for our customers, who put in over 100 million rows of data through the Shipwell platform every day, and that allows us to create even better tools for collaboration and execution.
In a short period of time, we have grown to over 4,000 customers, including some of the largest companies in the world, using the Shipwell platform every month. Through our combination of applications, APIs, and connections to service providers, we have one of the highest ROI platforms in the market due to our vertical integration of everything from the truck to the end customer.
I am so deeply humbled and proud of my team, which is solving some of the hardest challenges in the space today. Supply chain problems are hard! To bring forward the best ideas and solutions, Shipwell has recruited and hired top talent from a diverse set of backgrounds to create a platform that creates and sustains impact. Going forward, we’re going to continue scaling the amazingly talented and diverse Shipwell team, across our existing offices in Austin and our new office in Chicago, and continue turning our customer’s shipping into their competitive advantage.
We are building the future of trust
Supply chains today are built on trust, and in the future, it’s going to be increasingly important for companies to trust their supply chain partners. Shipwell is a trusted data provider to thousands of shippers, third-party logistics companies, and carriers that use our applications and APIs to run their supply chains. We take privacy and data governance seriously and build tools and as our platform grows, it’s important that we invest in building trust as well as visibility, connectivity, and automation.
Myself and the rest of Shipwell are committed, alongside our investors, who include Georgian Partners, Fifth Wall, First Round Capital, Base 10, Village Global, and Box Group, and advisors to solving difficult supply chain challenges. Together, we believe that our customers have a right to easy, transparent, and smart supply chain software and services.
If you aren’t a Shipwell customer yet, and especially if you’ve made it this far, we’d love to show you why Shipwell is the smartest way to ship and how we’re making shipping delightful by connecting the global supply chain into a single pane of glass with a simple API.