ShipMonk, a leading provider of ecommerce fulfillment and technology solutions, today announced a $290 million growth equity round, led by global growth investor Summit Partners. The financing represents a minority stake in the business and will help further accelerate ShipMonk’s rapid growth through continued investment in R&D, hiring, the development of B2B fulfillment capabilities and international expansion. The company also announced the addition of Summit Partners’ Managing Director Christopher Dean and Vice President Chelsea Jurman to its Board of Directors.
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ShipMonk Founder and CEO Jan Bednar (Photo: Business Wire)
The National Retail Federation predicts ecommerce holiday sales will experience an unprecedented 20% growth in 2020 and reach an estimated $202 billion. Black Friday alone generated $9 billion in online purchases, up nearly 22% compared to last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics. As consumer spending continues its rapid shift online – a trend that has only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic – small and medium-sized merchants face the very real challenge of keeping pace with ever increasing consumer expectations for seamless order fulfillment, near real-time delivery and around the clock customer service. ShipMonk’s inventory management software, automation technology and multi-channel order fulfillment solutions are designed to help growing businesses scale more quickly and compete with larger, more established brands.
“ShipMonk was founded to alleviate the burden of supply chain management and allow brand owners to focus on the magic of their front-end customer experience,” said ShipMonk Founder and CEO, Jan Bednar. “Small and medium-sized brands are working at an incredible pace to keep up with both increased demand and consumers’ service-level expectations. Fulfillment and inventory management technology has quickly become a critical component to ensure seamless delivery. Our solutions can quite literally make the difference between an item arriving on time or behind schedule, and ultimately, the difference between building brand loyalty or losing a valuable customer.”
Since the company’s founding in 2014, ShipMonk has delivered on this mission and grown rapidly – and profitably – as a result. In 2020, the company will generate more than $140 million in revenues, representing growth of more than 100% over the prior year. This growth is fueled by continued acceleration in customers’ online sales. In November, ShipMonk’s customers saw an additional surge in online volume, representing 115% more fulfilled orders than the same time period in 2019, and the momentum has sustained as the holiday season has progressed.
Modernized Warehouse, Streamlined Fulfillment
ShipMonk’s proprietary ecommerce management platform is designed to free growing online businesses from the hassle and time-intensive – but increasingly important – process of managing backend logistics. Its API integrations sync with leading shopping cart and marketplace platforms, such as Shopify, to automatically import orders across every sales channel and support a seamless and quick fulfillment experience. Orders are processed at ShipMonk’s U.S. warehouse locations strategically located throughout the United States to facilitate fast delivery of products to customers. Highly automated warehouse operations help ShipMonk’s customers save up to 50% of the operational costs compared to doing fulfillment in house and provide a scalable solution for hyper-growth.
ShipMonk also extends its globally optimized shipping carrier network to merchants for additional cost savings. Solutions are enhanced by human customer support via “Happiness Engineers,” trained specialists with deep experience addressing fulfillment challenges and needs.
Ecommerce Demand Spikes, ShipMonk Delivers
ShipMonk’s customer base has doubled over the past 12 months, and today the company serves more than 1,000 ecommerce businesses, including BrüMate, Liquid IV, Cuts Clothing, FEAT and CatLadyBox. ShipMonk’s customer base has benefited from the ongoing shift to online purchasing, and amidst further COVID-accelerated growth, the company helped its merchants to keep a steady delivery stream, maintaining shipping and delivery timeframes and eliminating delays.
“ShipMonk without question enabled us to both survive and thrive through 2020,” said Dylan Jacob, Founder, BrüMate, an insulated drinkware brand. “We couldn’t have foreseen this year’s increased demand, but because ShipMonk was running our fulfillment, we were able to meet, and even exceed, expectations and our customers never saw us sweat.”
As merchants using ShipMonk’s technology and fulfillment broaden beyond DTC, the company has planned product and solutions enhancements to assist in the evolving needs of business-to-business (B2B) fulfillment.
Bootstrapped Growth, Strategic Expansion
ShipMonk was founded by CEO Jan Bednar to help address a personal pain point. Bednar immigrated to the U.S. from the Czech Republic at 17 years old to play hockey and attend Florida Atlantic University. At the time, most ecommerce brands would not ship internationally, and he consistently faced a challenge when sending American products to friends and family back home. From this initial idea, he quickly pivoted ShipMonk to focus on the growing fulfilment needs of DTC brands. The company’s initial funding came from Bednar’s prize winnings from collegiate and venture business competitions, and the company has scaled rapidly, and profitably, since its inception.
“We believe ShipMonk truly demonstrates the power of a bootstrapped, durable growth mindset. Jan identified a significant gap in the market and, together with the ShipMonk team, has scaled the business in a deliberate and capital efficient manner to address that need. The results have been impressive,” said Christopher Dean, a Managing Director at Summit Partners who will join the ShipMonk Board of Directors. “ShipMonk is helping ecommerce brands of all sizes compete against larger, more established players – helping even the smallest of brands to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.”
Today, ShipMonk serves a growing base of B2C and B2B businesses from its Fort Lauderdale, FL headquarters and warehouse facilities across the U.S. The company plans to open its flagship European fulfillment center in the Czech Republic in mid-2021. ShipMonk currently has 1,000 employees and intends to increase headcount to 1,500 over the next 12 months, with hiring predominantly for Warehouse Associates, Happiness Engineers and Developers.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to ShipMonk on this transaction.
From its inception in 2014, ShipMonk has operated with a singular guiding principle: to help small and medium-sized ecommerce businesses scale by offering technology-driven fulfillment solutions that enable business founders to devote more time to the things that matter most in their businesses. Put simply, ShipMonk helps ecommerce companies stress less and grow more. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, ShipMonk has more than 1,000 employees across facilities in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Pittston, PA, Los Angeles, CA, and Prague, Czech Republic. More information is available at www.shipmonk.com.
ABOUT SUMMIT PARTNERS
Founded in 1984, Summit Partners is a global alternative investment firm that is currently managing more than $21 billion in capital dedicated to growth equity, fixed income and public equity opportunities. Summit invests across growth sectors of the economy and has invested in more than 500 companies in technology, healthcare and other growth industries. These companies have completed more than 160 public equity offerings, and more than 200 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales. Summit has partnered with more than two dozen companies across the e-commerce and consumer landscape, including Brooklinen, Klaviyo, Philz Coffee, Quay Eyewear, Reverb.com, Sezane, TinyPrints, VeriShip, MercuryGate, and vente-privee.com. Summit maintains offices in North America and Europe and invests in companies around the world. For more information, please see www.summitpartners.com or follow on LinkedIn.
In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Summit Partners LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC388179 and its registered office is at 11-12 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JJ, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies