It’s been a bit more than half a year since shipping startup ShipBob went through Y Combinator, and it’s finally ramping up to launch in its second city. It’s able to make that jump thanks to a $1 million round of seed funding from SV Angels, FundersClub, WeFunder and others.
While competitors Shyp and Shipster aim to provide an on-demand experience on the user side of things, ShipBob is embracing its focus on a specific kind of small business. Instead of calling a courier from their phone, ShipBob’s customers typically schedule routine pickups from a web dashboard. Some businesses have started paying ShipBob to keep some inventory in its warehouse, so when orders come in, ShipBob can immediately package the goods up and hand them off to carriers to delivery.
The startup originally planned for its sophomore launch to be in San Francisco, but co-founder Dhruv Saxena says guidance from investors and feedback from customers led ShipBob to aim its sights at Brooklyn, NY. San Francisco is happening eventually too, but an early focus on local businesses with presence on services like eBay, Shopify and Etsy draws them to the antique and craft businesses in Brooklyn.
To spur adoption, ShipBob doesn’t charge for scheduled pickups or packaging. Instead, it simply takes a cut of the savings its gets on shipping by routing its outbound packages to carriers through EasyPost.