Shipping can be a difficult thing for ecommerce retailers and similar businesses to manage. The founders of Shippo learned that the hard way. So they set out to fix it.
Shippo aims to solve a variety of shipping issues for different businesses. Read more about the company and its offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides shipping solutions for ecommerce businesses.
CEO and co-founder Laura Behrens Wu told Small Business Trends, “Today, we’re a fast growing company solving massive issues in shipping for retailers, ecommerce companies/platforms, enterprises, warehouses, and more. It’s much more than a “we’ll find the cheapest carrier” tool – it’s a platform + API to automate shipments, make billing easy, and give customers an app to tracking orders and provide insight into things transit times and deliverability for particular goods.”
Putting customers first.
Wu says, “Shippo focuses relentlessly on their customers, as a way of guiding the business and company culture.”
How the Business Got Started
To solve shipping problems for an ecommerce business.
Three years ago, Wu and her Shippo co-founder, Simon Kreuz, were building an ecommerce store on Shopify when they realized an opportunity for a new business.
She explains, “To handle online payments, the company used Stripe. For the most part, the experience was user-friendly. However, when many orders started coming in, shipping seemed to be the hang-up. That’s when the team realized that there wasn’t any technology set up to help them better figure out the shipping process.”
Building a great team.
Wu says, “One thing Shippo is proud is has to be our team—now a wonderful group of 75 people (and rapidly growing) We are thankful and privileged to be surrounded with such talented people who share our vision and and are working towards the same goal everyday.”
Attempting to attract investors.
Wu says, “When we first raised our seed round, we pitched 125 investors and got 115 no’s. We definitely ran the risk of feeling deflated and giving up, and yet it was hardly a sign to give up. We worked tirelessly on gaining traction to prove that Shippo was a service that our customers needed. Determination is one of the most important characteristics for entrepreneurs to have.”
Have faith in yourself.
Wu explains, “From an earlier point in time, I would have quickly learned how to manage up. From closing the communication loop to practicing empathy, don’t fall victim to self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Know what you bring to the table and recognize that you’re at the table for a reason.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Helping small retailers.
Wu says, “Today, we are a well-funding, venture-backed startup in and are using our cash to create a more level playing field in ecommerce through shipping, for anyone but Amazon to capitalize.”
Having a multi-national team.
Wu says, “The lean team at Shippo represents more than a dozen countries. Co-founder Laura Behrens Wu has lived in 7 countries throughout her life.”
Solve real problems.
Wu explains, “If you want to be a founder, my advice would be to build something that resembles “painkillers not vitamins”—sage advice my former CEO once gave me. You’ll want to solve a real problem, rather than just build something that’s “nice to have.”
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Images: Shippo; Top Image: From L to R: Laura Behrens Wu, Co-founder and President Simon Kreuz, VP of Business Development Tom Seoh, Second Image: Mikhail Ledvich, VP of Marketing and Strategy, Third image: Simon Kreuz, Laura Behrens Wu.