To compete in a world of on-demand everything right to your door led by the likes of Amazon and Uber, traditional physical retailers and those working with them have been looking for an edge by providing efficient, tech-fuelled delivery services of their own.
Now, a startup that has built a platform to enable last-mile logistics and other delivery features for these businesses has announced a round of funding to fuel its growth. Bringg, which works with the likes of Walmart and McDonalds, as well third-party delivery businesses like DoorDash, to optimise and manage logistics and other aspects of the delivery process, has raised $25 million to expand its business.
A typical example of what Bringg provides to its retail customers is the Spark delivery operation that Walmart launched late last year: it gives the company the ability to optimize driver schedules, automatically dispatch orders, allow drivers to communicate their availability and in turn communicate to drivers by way of smart alerts to make sure deliveries are picked up, queued and delivered on time. Other services that Bringg can offer to customers include helping them run click-and-collect schemes, manage “crowdsourced” fleets, and returns.
Amazon has set the bar high when it comes to setting customer expectations by providing a service that can deliver anything you want in a faster time than it would take for you to go out and buy it. Across various markets it sells food, or clothing, books, streamed films and thousands of other products this way, by way of its Prime subscription service.
A number of startups have emerged to help businesses that are not Amazon and Uber better compete against them and that proposition.
They include companies like FiveStars to help build loyalty programs; Deliverr (yes, it has chosen to follow the same naming convention…) to help with fulfilment and distribution; OrderGroove to build tools to encourage repeat buying; Deliv to provide businesses with a network of people to run same-day deliveries; and Tookan, which directly competes with Bringg for delivery logistics management.
And there are more in existence and likely coming down the pike, since every company both worries on Amazon encroaching on their business, but also, more simply, will try to provide what their customers want.
The reason investors are interested specifically in Bringg — which is co-headquartered in Chicago and Tel Aviv — is in part because of its extensive customer list but also because of its focus on the lucrative market of logistics, which is widely credited as at the core of why Amazon does so well. (Economies of scale is another, which is where being a big retailer like Walmart or McDonalds, or an aggregating platform like DoorDash, comes in.)
“Bringg [is] a pioneering company that’s providing crucial capabilities to leading organizations looking to connect logistics data across different silos and optimize their last mile of delivery,” said Matthew Cowan, Partner at Next47, in a statement. “With the global logistics market predicted to grow to $15.5 trillion by 2023 and the ‘Amazon effect’ drastically changing customer expectations, Bringg has a massive opportunity to fundamentally transform the logistics industry by enabling seamless automation, greater data transparency, and a more collaborative mental outlook.”
Amazon has created a logistics powerhouse to run its delivery service, and the idea is that now other retailers can, using Bringg, have the same kind of tools at their disposal, letting them not just manage the logistics for a delivery service, but help companies track and manage goods and drivers, and specifically to do so even when they are not providing the delivery services themselves.
This is key: many companies will never want to build and operate their own fleet of delivery people and vehicles to bring things to customers; but they will instead work with the likes of DoorDash or Deliv or Postmates to do this. (Even Amazon doesn’t deliver all of Amazon’s packages, but it still handles the logistics.) This will help those people also continue to manage their products and delivery within that third-party service.
“This new investment enables Bringg to level the playing field in the age of Amazon by enabling large retailers, grocery chains, consumer goods companies, restaurant chains and logistics firms to provide their customers with what they expect from their deliveries, based on the optimized business models required to win in today’s challenging market,” said Guy Bloch, CEO at Bringg, in a statement. “We are on a mission to equip enterprises with the technology platform they need to orchestrate successful delivery operations, providing their management and logistics teams with the visibility and control they need to not only survive but thrive in this exciting new landscape.”
Bringg is already active in 50 markets and the plan will be to take that to more with this Series C, which comes from Siemens’ VC Next47, Salesforce Ventures, Aleph VC, OG Ventures, Cambridge Capital, Coca-Cola, Ituran and Pereg Ventures.
Bringg is not disclosing its valuation with this round although we are trying to find out. It’s raised $53 million to date.