Shutl, the London-based startup that promises to enable the delivery of online purchases within minutes of sale, has secured $3.2 million in funding that it plans to put toward its upcoming debut in North America.
The new money was brought in by Shutl’s existing investors, which include UPS’s strategic venture arm and Hummingbird Ventures, along with the participation of two new backers, e.ventures and Notion Capital. Shutl’s last bit of funding was the $2 million raise it announced in August, which was also provisioned to be put toward the impending North American launch.
Over the past year, Shutl has expanded across the UK, where it says it can enable the delivery of goods purchased online either within minutes of them being purchased or inside a 1-hour window selected by the shopper. It does this with its web platform, which connects retailers to local same-day courier companies. The company claims its fastest delivery clocks in at just under 15 minutes from time of purchase. This apparently is good not only for the consumer, but also for Shutl — since it first came on the scene back in late 2009, the company has liked to compare its service to “Kozmo meets UrbanFetch, but with a profit made on every delivery.”
Shutl says it plans to launch stateside in the first quarter of 2013, starting with New York and San Francisco. After that, Shutl will commence “phase two” of its North American rollout which will include the likes of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, along with Canadian cities Montreal and Toronto.
Coming to the U.S. is a big goal for Shutl, founder and CEO Tom Allason told TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher earlier this year. “We are ready for the U.S., a market that we estimate will be worth around $26 billion by 2016,” he said then. To address a market that large will take some strength — and, of course, there are already some US-based startups such as Postmates and TaskRabbit who are hustling hard to tackle the ultra-quick delivery space — so it makes sense for Shutl to take advantage of the chance to pad its coffers with a bit more cash before it crosses the pond.