Huboo, the software-driven e-commerce fulfilment platform, has closed its £60 million Series B financing led by Abu Dhabi based Mubadala Capital. This new investment adds to the £14 million Series A funding raised last year and will help fuel Huboo’s expansion into continental Europe.
Founded in 2017 by Martin Bysh and Paul Dodd, the company has expanded its operations from one warehouse in Bristol to operating four fulfilment centres across the UK. It has recently opened a site in the Netherlands and plans to roll out its operations across multiple other European markets over the next 12 months. To date, Huboo has acquired over 1,000 customers – ranging from small direct-to-consumer (D2C) merchants to larger e-commerce brands – resolving critical challenges in their order fulfilment process, from warehousing and inventory management to order logistics and shipping.
Currently, many e-commerce businesses run their entire order fulfilment process in-house, largely due to the prohibitive pricing of outsourcing the process to third parties. Following a surge in e-commerce sales on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have increasingly been seeking affordable solutions that can support their fulfilment process and enables them to ship a growing number of goods in a fast and cost-effective manner.
Huboo’s end-to-end order fulfilment service provides merchants with a full-stack solution that includes an intuitive and easy-to-use merchant platform integrating multiple online sales channels and markets, an in-house developed warehouse management software, and a network of warehouses split into highly efficient micro-hubs.
The company’s merchant platform uses APIs to integrate with popular sales channels and online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Shopify, which allows D2C brands to view and track orders and manage their inventory on a single dashboard in real time. Huboo has also developed a proprietary software to manage warehouse operations and continuously optimise inventory layout.
Leveraging its technology stack, the company runs a network of physical warehouses which are split into modular micro-hubs of just a few hundred square foot each. These small hubs enable Huboo’s team to pick and pack inventory with high variability in a smarter and more efficient manner, while delivering exceptional customer service. Huboo’s warehousing model is not only scalable but also capital light, meaning a new site can be launched within a span of a few weeks.
Huboo’s long-term mission is to become the operating system for e-commerce businesses in Europe – a single platform allowing customers to handle inventory and fulfilment, manage their existing distribution channels, roll out new sales channels with a simple click of a button, build their own store front and access a range of useful e-commerce related services through Huboo’s merchant app store.
The raise comes after an incredible 24 months of growth which has seen the company’s revenues grow 10x in 2020. The round was led by Mubadala Capital and joined by existing investors including Stride, Ada Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Episode 1 and Maersk Growth, and takes Huboo’s total funding raised to nearly £80 million since April 2019.
Martin Bysh, co-founder and CEO of Huboo, said: “Scores of new and existing retail businesses now see their future in e-commerce, but while anyone can set up an online store-front and start selling within hours, the infrastructure powering e-commerce is alarmingly outdated, inefficient, inflexible and expensive.
“This is the problem we’ve set out to address with our hub model, which brings flexibility and affordability to the incredibly complex fulfilment piece so that online retailers of all sizes – from part-timers to fast-growth D2C leaders – can benefit.
“We’re thrilled to have Mubadala on-board and are looking forward to developing our plans. This raise enables us to roll out our proposition on a wider international scale, as well as expand our service offering, continue our software development and further invest in our growing team. By taking care of the complexity of fulfilment, our goal is to enable seamless, borderless trade for e-commerce businesses of all sizes.”
Fatou Bintou Sagnang, Partner at Mubadala Capital Ventures, said: “Huboo’s product solves one of the most critical pain points for e-commerce companies – while order fulfilment is a core function for these companies, it is not part of their core competency. By combining logistics with a user-friendly software platform, Huboo delivers a superior fulfilment experience and allows businesses of all sizes to continue focusing on core activities such as product development, while managing growing demand from their customers.”
Damien Lane, Co-Founder and Partner, Episode 1, said: “Episode 1 is delighted to continue to back Martin and Paul. Having led their first round of funding in April 2019, we’ve been blown away by the growth and the speed of execution and are looking forward to working with the new investors to support the team as they build a category defining company.”
Matt Penneycard, Founding Partner at Ada Ventures, said: “Huboo is a shining light of UK tech, and we’re particularly delighted for a Bristol-based company to be succeeding this way! Martin and Paul’s incredible vision is becoming a global reality at supersonic speed. Their innovative approach to fulfilment logistics is powered by their proprietary technology, which has led to happy employees and happy customers – no mean feat! Ada Ventures is so proud of them and their team and we’re thrilled that this is a company we’ve backed right from the start, all the way to this growth round where we also invested a large SPV.”
Fred Destin, Founder at Stride.VC, said: “Huboo does the seemingly impossible – to deliver high-precision ecommerce fulfilment cost effectively to businesses of all sizes and levels of complexity. Huboo innovates both in how it looks at logistics, as an interlocked set of lego blocks connected by software, and how it looks at people, as a team of empowered self-starters obsessed about customer success. It’s a start-up worth backing and that is why we are doubling down.”