E-commerce logistics Shipper secures US$5M from Lightspeed Ventures

Shipper, an Indonesia-based e-commerce startup, announces that it has received a US$5 million investment from Lightspeed , Floodgate Ventures, Insignia Partners, and Y Combinator, TechNews reported.

The company said it will use the funding for hiring and customer acquisition.

Indonesia is known to be one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, but the logistics industry is still very fragmented, the article read.

Shipper was launched in 2017 by co-founders Phil Opamuratawongse and Budi Handoko. This year, it graduated from Y Combinator’s winter batch.

In Indonesia, e-commerce sellers often use multiple platforms, like the existing Tokopedia, Shopee, Bukalapak, and Lazada. Smaller vendors also sell through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other social media.

In comparison, there are more than 2,500 logistics providers in Indonesia.

“It is really hard for any provider to do nationwide themselves, so the big ones usually use local partners to fulfill locations where they don’t have the infrastructure,” said Opamuratawongse.

Shipper stated that its mission is to “create a platform that makes the process of fulfilling and tracking orders much more efficient”. The company offers a package pick-up service and fulfillment centers, as well as the technology stack to help logistics providers manage shipments.

Shipper started off by only focussing on the last-mile for smaller vendors, who keep inventory in their homes and fulfill about five to 10 orders per day, but with a choice of several logistics providers per their customer’s liking. This service meant they needed to visit multiple drop-off locations every morning.

Shipper then came up with the solution to pick-up service, performed by couriers (who are people like stay-at-home parents who want flexible, part-time work) that will collect packages from several vendors in the same neighborhood and distribute them to different logistics providers, serving as micro-fulfillment hubs.

Shipper signs up about 10 to 30 new couriers each week, keeping them at least 2.5 kilometers apart so they don’t compete against each other.

The company then began setting up fulfillment centers to keep up with vendors whose businesses were growing and were turning to third-party warehouse services.

Shipper’s technology can be used to predict the best shipping routes and consolidate packages headed in the same direction. It also provides a multi-carrier API that allows sellers to manage orders, print shipping labels, and get tracking information from multiple providers on their phones.

Shipper said its next plan will be focussing on expanding in Indonesia first, before tackling other Southeast Asian countries with e-commerce markets, including Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

For the past months, Indonesia has seen multiple fundraising aimed at its logistic tech sector. In March, Kargo raised US$7.6 million in funding from Sequoia Capital India, followed by Ritase, a trucking platform that received an undisclosed Series A funding.

The recent funding was led by Convergence and Genesia Ventures, who invest seed funding into Logisly, a startup that connects logistics service users (shippers) and logistics services providers (transporters) in Indonesia.

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