With many consumers making the switch to online shopping in the last year due to COVID-19 and largely staying active on those platforms even after physical shops and the freedom to move about them have been restored, companies that are enabling those services are continuing to see a lot of business and attention. In the latest development, Bringg, which has built software to help retailers with last-mile logistics — specifically to manage, and in some cases even tap, people fulfilling deliveries — has raised $100 million in a Series E round of funding.
The money is coming about a year after its last round — a $30 million Series D — and Bringg has confirmed that the funding values the company at $1 billion — representing a hike of about 4x on its previous valuation. Part of the reason for that has been the company’s strong growth of 180% in new customers over the last year, a high watermark for delivery services, given the pandemic.
Insight Partners is leading this round, and Salesforce Ventures, Viola Growth, Next 47, Pereg Ventures, Harlap, GLP and Cambridge Capital — all previous backers — are also investing.
Guy Bloch, Bringg’s CEO, said in an interview that the funding will be used both to continue growing Bringg’s customer base, but also the company’s capabilities, and also likely for acquisitions to consolidate some of the links that go into the logistics and fulfillment chain.
Bringg has to date focused on the last mile — a critical area for retailers, commonly accounting for 30-40% of the total cost of delivering an item — but Bloch believes there are other parts of the system that it could tackle alongside that.
“The aim is to perfect the customer experience,” he said of the company’s strategy. “It’s not just the last mile but the middle mile. We have so many examples of that.” It’s also building out more options for its customers, including wider flexibility around delivery in-store, “greener” deliveries bundling several orders in one area and more.
The company counts a number of huge companies among its list of current customers. They include Walmart, Albertsons, Co-Op in the U.K., Coca-Cola and Panera.
With them and others, Bringg’s opportunity is a wide one. While some retailers, particularly larger ones, are “insourcing” in Bloch’s words, and building large operations to fulfill their own and third-party orders themselves, others — especially smaller companies — are looking for options of clicking into existing infrastructure, with not just logistics software, but perhaps even networks of delivery people to move their products. But in addition to that are the types of companies that Bringg is helping, a swathe of retailers that include not just groceries and goods, but ready-made food from restaurants and much more.
“We have amassed a large connected network over the years, millions of drivers,” said Bloch. “Every time we take on a new brand, it looks into our delivery hub and can see different variations depending on locations.” This enables customers to take blended offerings, too, to fill in gaps where they may lack their own people.
In that regard, Salesforce is a strategic backer here: As the CRM giant has grown, it’s extended its reach into providing a lot of different tools to its business customers, including e-commerce tools and management systems. Bringg is being integrated into that as part of its efforts to help businesses run their businesses.
Bringg is not the only company looking to build services to help other retailers jump into the new world of commerce. Others include the likes of Ocado, and of course Amazon and its vast network targeting businesses, and more. It’s an interesting company in the mix, however, simply for being completely neutral in the equation, with no direct to consumer services of its own.
“It’s clear to us that Bringg is building something special and we’re excited to partner with them as they continue to introduce transformative change for retailers and logistics partners,” said Jeff Horing, co-founder and managing director at Insight Partners, in a statement. “With Guy’s experience and leadership and a growing list of marquee customers, we’re confident that Bringg will continue to pave the way as the clear leader in the space.”
Looking forward, although Bringg will be looking to make acquisitions, Bloch said that the startup is “not entertaining” acquisition offers itself.
“My goal is to build a lasting company,” he said. “Companies need our urgent help to do a job.”