Nash raises cash to help merchants manage local deliveries


Food delivery via bike
Image Credits: svetikd (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The pandemic normalized delivery in the U.S. But even before the health crises struck, delivery sales at restaurants alone were increasing at a rate of 7% to 8% per year, roughly twice that of sales across the entire restaurant industry, according to McKinsey. The trouble is, delivery can be a nightmare from the restaurant and merchant side. Among other challenges, businesses often rely on a single partner to make their deliveries, making them highly susceptible to fluctuations in supply and demand and service reliability.

On a mission to make deliveries less of a headache, Mahmoud Ghulman founded Nash, a platform that aggregates delivery providers to allow businesses to select those that make the most sense, price- and availability-wise. Nash plugs into third-party delivery APIs from DoorDash, Lyft, Uber and other partners, providing customers with software to manage and offer local deliveries to their customers.

“Over the past few years, my co-founders and I watched how consumers have come to expect incredibly fast, reliable delivery at an affordable price given what the retail, delivery, and transportation giants have accomplished,” Ghulman told TechCrunch in an email interview. “However, this has created a landscape where medium and small businesses struggle to meet consumer demands due to the complexity and high cost associated with running and maintaining a last-mile delivery operation. So we became really interested in building a software and logistics solution that would allow any business to easily activate reliable local delivery by building custom workflows and tapping into a large network of delivery providers.”

Image Credits: Nash

Ghulman met Nash’s other co-founder, Aziz Alghunaim, at a science fair in high school, and the two attended MIT together. Alghunaim was previously an engineer at Palantir and helped launch Tarjimly, a Y Combinator-backed startup aiming to reduce language barriers for refuges while providing access to support services.

Ghulman and Alghunaim co-founded Nash in early 2021, and the company participated in Y Combinator’s S21 batch. Impressing investors, evidently, Nash today closed a $20 million Series A round led by Andreesen Horowitz with support from Y Combinator, Rackhouse Venture Capital and “leaders across the tech and supply chain space.”

“Today’s newly announced $20 million Series A capital brings our total funding to $27.8 million, as it comes right on the heels of our previously unannounced $7.8 million seed round from late last year, which Andreesen Horowitz also led,” Ghulman said. “This funding will be used to double down on hiring in engineering, operations, sales, and other key business functions. We plan to grow our 25-employee headcount by more than 2x to 3x by the end of the year to match our explosive growth.”

Using Nash, businesses can choose delivery providers manually or have the platform do it automatically. Either way, they get price and time estimates plus information about the delivery person, including their contact information and location.

Tens of thousands of merchants can access the platform for individual and batched (i.e. multi-pickup) delivery routes through Nash’s partnerships, Ghulman claims, reaching up to 94% of the U.S. population in close to 1,000 cities.

To optimize routes, Nash uses AI and machine learning to predict a courier’s on-time delivery performance given variables like pickup time, drop-off time, package value, distance and drive time. Nash supports a range of different delivery options, Ghulman says, including scheduled and same-hour deliveries as well as store-to-store deliveries and customer returns. 

“What we’re doing for delivery is what Stripe has done for payments: we have built a simple API and workflow builder,” Ghulman continued. “Businesses can build a customized delivery workflow by leveraging our API platform or access Nash directly through our technical partnerships with industry-leading marketplaces, aggregators, and point-of-sale providers. This approach makes it easy for teams to reduce the technical overhead required to maintain a high-performance delivery operation.”

Image Credits: Nash

The on-demand delivery market, which was always on the capital-intensive side, isn’t particularly healthy at the moment, as evidenced by the mass layoffs at delivery startups like Gopuff. Ghulman declined to offer firm numbers on Nash’s revenue and customer base, but assured me that Nash hasn’t been impacted by the broader slowdown and is “well-positioned” to weather potential headwinds.”

“The pandemic brought an unimaginable surge in demand for local delivery across all industries. Many companies couldn’t keep up. Some were even forced to shut down. And launching or operating a delivery business was even more challenging than usual due to a reduced workforce,” Ghulman said. “By removing the technical, logistical, and operational overhead associated with offering a reliable delivery experience, Nash helped hundreds of businesses access new customers and revenue streams.”

As for what’s next, Nash plans to further expand into verticals like retail, car parts, pet supplies, catering and meal kits, laundry, flowers, printing and framing, pharma and small parcels. It’s also casting its gaze toward new markets, including Canada and the U.K., where Nash plans to launch by the end of the year.

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

10 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

12 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android