Byrd raises $ 56 million to develop its European logistics and e-commerce network as an alternative to Amazon – TechCrunch

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Shopify focuses on the role and importance of logistics and performance in e-commerce when it last week bought Deliverr for $ 2.1 billion to get their own, direct base in providing these services to their e-commerce customers a la Amazon. Now, a future startup in Europe, he has completed a round of funding to stimulate his own growth. Byrdwhich builds a network of operations that provides warehousing services, delivery services and software for its e-commerce customers to manage it all, has raised $ 56 million in Series C funding round.

Cambridge Capital is a leader in investment, it also includes Speedinvest, Mouro Capital, Elevator Ventures and other previous shareholders. Bird last raised less than a year ago in a $ 19 million round led by Muro. He did not disclose his assessment, but the round ended between rumors of a Shopify purchase for a logistics provider (apparently he was also considering Shipbob) and an actual acquisition, so this may have brought Baird extra attention.

Today, the Berlin startup provides e-commerce customers with “virtual” warehouses in seven European countries – not as a warehouse owner, but through storage in other people’s warehouses – along with a set of software that helps these customers connect and manage them. and analyze supplies and supplies around the world – and the plan is to use the investment to expand this network and the services it provides around it, in particular also to create operations to work in new verticals such as clothing. Today it covers the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, and its newest lineups have been added in Italy and Spain. Sweden, Denmark and Poland are on the list, which will be launched later this year, for a total of 30 warehouses in 10 countries.

The Holy Grail of Byrd, so to speak, is to provide its retailers with a viable alternative to the types of services that could potentially be obtained through Amazon Prime: fast delivery options, but also a backend to manage products after they are imported and until they receive to the final destination with the client; and an easy route to return if that happens. It has great capabilities, so to speak, in the fact that today sellers usually already sell through several channels, including their own websites, other markets and more.

“We are already fulfilling a lot of Amazon orders,” said Alexander Leichter, CEO, who co-founded Byrd with Sebastian Mach and Petra Dobrotskaya. “Why don’t they ship through Amazon? Vendors like to be independent and have a choice as well as consolidate transactions between different channels. So this is not true now and will not be true in the future that Amazon is the best solution. There are still ample opportunities for independent decisions. “

Logistics and execution are the two most deceptively critical parts of the e-commerce business model. Deceptive because they do not seem so visible to the average consumer who buys the product; critical because they have become central not only to the margin derived from sales, but also a key factor when someone buys something: shipping costs and time can drive sales or disrupt it.

Originally based in Vienna, Byrd has spent years examining the complexities of the business model, initially seeking to build its own network of physical warehouses before resorting to a software approach based on increasing and decreasing warehouse space. it was needed for customers.

Dobrotzka, chief commercial officer, said that although the acquisition of Deliverr certainly speaks of greater consolidation in 3PL (reduction from third party logistics) place, and perhaps also emphasizes that there may be less than “3” among them as e-commerce platforms build up their musculature, retailers are still a fairly significant population, leaving room for vendors like Byrd, which are both flexible and evolving in functionality thanks to a software-based. And regional coverage should not be underestimated.

“Shopify was launched only three or four years ago in Germany, and I would say that their reach in Europe is not so strong,” she said.

The company has not yet launched, but has thought about how to bring its model, which competes with Amazon, to the very concept of Prime, if it manages to reach a larger scale to make it worth it. (What Shopify may also be considering, given its growth and ambitions.)

“There are some thoughts about prime,” Leichter said. “That’s what makes sense. For consumers they can shop from more than one seller and say we have two sellers who are in the same warehouse but order through different websites. It would make sense to combine this and improve the customer experience. But to do so would be premature. We need a lot of traders to get there. ”

Matt Smolly, CEO of Cambridge Capital, joins the company’s board in this round.

“Byrd is one of the fastest growing companies we’ve seen, in which we believe it’s the strongest unit economy in the industry. We were convinced by their technological approach and patented warehouse management software that allows Byrd to manage the volume implementation network with ease, ”he said in a statement. “Byrd’s wide coverage of the European market, excellent customer momentum and high satisfaction with both retailers and warehouse partners immediately appealed to us.”

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