Paris-based Bigblue, a logistics startup for ecommerce brand that provides independent online retailers with the same logistical solutions as Amazon except with full control over packaging, branding, and customer communications — has announced today, a $15M Series A funding round. The invesment was led by Runa Capital with LPV as the secondary lead investor, with additional funding coming from existing investor Samaipata.
Founded in mid-2018, the French company plans to use the $15M to hire 100 new people over the next 12 months in sales, marketing, and operations, and triple its engineering staff. They opened their first international office in Madrid in January this year and plan to expand to the rest of Europe over the next 12 months.
Big European expansion
Tim Dumain, co-founder at Bigblue, exclusively shares with TFN, “We have a lot of new customers in France, but now we’re expanding in Europe. We opened our services to Spain a few weeks ago, and will soon open the UK in a couple of months for customers shipping products there. We plan to expand in five big countries in the European e-commerce, including Germany and Italy.”
Bigblue founder also informed that they plan to hire 100 people in next 12-18 months, with their current team headcount being around 70.
In a press release, statement, Dmitry Chikhachev, General Partner at Runa Capital says, “Runa Capital sees Bigblue as a crucial part of the online merchants’ tech stack and believes that the e-commerce market will continue to grow at an impressive pace in the future. We’re confident the team has everything to become the European leader in e-commerce fulfilment.
“Powering independent brands in France since 2018, Bigblue does not simply offer a fulfilment solution that matches Amazon standards – we aim to make it easy for brands to grow online”, adds Dumain.
He further concludes on the round, “With this new round, we will support scaling service offerings for Bigblue’s growing base of online merchants, fuel hiring efforts, and continue to position the company as the leader in the D2C fulfilment space.”
Fully competitive solutions
Bigblue’s latest program, Fast Tags, offers one day delivery with tracking. This allows businesses to offer customers an “Amazon Prime” type delivery service and increases average conversion rates by 20-40%.
Right from the start, Bigblue’s founders William Meunier, Tim Dumain, and Mathias Griffe wanted their company to lead the way in environmentally-friendly logistics. So far, they have reduced their carbon emissions by 25% by utilising AI to plan van loads and routes to be as efficient as possible. They also use cargo bikes and electric vehicles where possible and only use plastic-free packaging. With as much as 85% of people saying they prefer to use environmentally conscious businesses where possible, Bigblue’s green credentials can be an attractive selling point their clients can use when marketing their businesses.
Talking about how they are different from their competitors, Mathias Griffe tells TFN, “What makes us unique is really our value proposition being oriented towards first independent brands. Secondly, how we use and leverage the logistics to make them grow faster.”
He adds, “Shopify is our closest partner, and we are part of that ecosystem, basically, we provide the logistics solution for that.”
Selling on eBay is fine for established or niche retailers, but it can be hard to look professional when your items appear in search results with private sellers. Shopify and other similar platforms give you full control over the look and functionality of your website, allow retailers to build and grow a professional brand identity. Both these options have their pros and cons, not least of which is logistics when dealing with stock.
Some entrepreneurs opt for the drop-shipping business model which addresses many of the hurdles new retailers face, but long delivery times and limited control over the products and packaging can restrict scaling potential. Selling through Amazon is touted by many to be the better option for starting in ecommerce. The storage and fulfilment can all be handled by Amazon, solving most logistical problems. But sellers have no control over the packaging which is always Amazon branded. This makes building a brand difficult because the customer experience is “all Amazon”. And this is what Bigblue is trying to solve competing directly with other D2C e-commerce logistics companies, including Huboo, Hive and Cubyn.
Dumain formed his first company when he was 19 years old as a board game publisher and sold it before founding Bigblue with William and Mathias, an ex-Apple employee. They founded the company to make some real-world impact in logistics with software and aim to unravel the industry’s problems.