The Philippines’ e-commerce market now has a gross merchandise volume of $12 billion, a 132% increase from 2020, and is expected to reach $26 billion in GMV by 2025. This obviously is good news for online sellers, but it also means more shipping headaches, especially for smaller sellers that need to drop off packages at couriers’ warehouses.
Shipmates wants to save them time and money by consolidating several couriers into one platform. Online sellers can book couriers through its app, who then come to their location and pick up packages. The startup, a Y Combinator and Iterative alum, announced today it has raised $2.2 million in seed funding. The round included Cathexis Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Taurus Ventures, Capital X and Sketchnote Partners.
Founded in July 2021 by CEO Josh Supan and CTO David Marquez, Shipmates’ goal is to become the go-to shipping tool for online merchants in the Philippines, while bolstering the country’s shipping infrastructure. Its platform allows online sellers to compare rates between different couriers and book standard or multiple orders.
The platform is currently integrated with nine courier companies, and the founders say it’s the only aggregator in the Philippines that has both on-demand and standard couriers.
Supan and Marquez are childhood friends who started an e-commerce enabler in 2017. Supan told TechCrunch they “pivoted from that when we saw that the problem of the merchants wasn’t getting online, it was shipping their online orders.”
Shipmates’ target customers are small- to mid-sized online sellers whose typical basket sizes range from $20 to $50. Supan explained that the shipping process in the Philippines is still manual because couriers aren’t connected to e-commerce platforms, and rely on business owners to physically drop off packages at a hub or warehouse.
As a result, many online sellers need a day to send out orders. Shipmates, however, reduces that process to less than 10 minutes, Supan said. The platform also automates waybills and address validations.
Shipmates monetizes by charging 30 cents for every order booked through its platform. Supan says its revenue has been growing 30% month-over-month since launching its platform last December.