Bristol-based Huboo, the UK full-stack, software-driven fulfilment provider, is today announcing it has raised £14 million, led by European technology VC Stride.
Founded in 2017, Huboo uses unique ‘micro hub’ technology to enable online retailers of all sizes – a £27bn market – to access a complete end-to-end fulfilment operation within minutes.
While many businesses find it hard to access efficient, cost-effective fulfilment to support their e-Commerce businesses, Huboo utilises software to drive a smarter, more productive and human-centric warehouse.
The company’s software provides everything from transaction management and quality control, stock control, order tracking and billing information to integration with popular sales channels and marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay and Shopify, enabling the company to directly receive and process retailers’ orders in real-time.
At the warehouse itself, Huboo houses its teams in self-contained ‘micro hubs’. These replicate the inputs, processes and outputs of a complete warehouse within a few hundred square feet, with Huboo’s management software keeping tabs on every item throughout the fulfilment process.
This approach allows teams to work quickly, intelligently, and on a set client portfolio, meaning that clients liaise with the same team member each time, while the warehouse job description no longer involves having to walk miles every single day.
In just 18 months, the business has grown from two employees, 60 clients and £20,000 in monthly recurring revenues (MRR) to 120 employees, over 500 clients and £800k MRR – a growth rate of 40x.
The company is on track for 20x annual recurring revenue growth by the close of 2020, by which time the business will have further expanded to a headcount of over 200.
Huboo’s rapid, agile, software-based onboarding process has allowed the business to onboard circa 50 new clients per month during the challenging period from March to June 2020, during which many of its competitors were forced to turn away new business or close down operations altogether.
This latest round of funding sees Stride and also Hearst Ventures join previous investors – among them Maersk Growth, Episode 1, True Capital and Ada Ventures. The Series A investment takes Huboo’s total raised so far to £18million since April 2019.
Martin Bysh, co-founder of Huboo, said: “Not only has the global pandemic provided the catalyst for a mass shift into multi-channel commerce over the next five years, but there is a real D2C revolution happening. Thousands of young D2C businesses are bypassing conventional retail channels to engage directly with consumers.
“Huboo is directly placed to benefit from this opportunity. While the problems with existing fulfilment suppliers have worsened during 2020 such as long lead times, delays and incorrect items dispatched – our unique micro hubs are designed to minimise, if not eradicate these issues.”
Fred Destin, founder of Stride, said: “You can only solve the issues facing independent online retailers and D2C specialists by building a full-stack, end-to-end, fully integrated commerce platform. This is exactly what Huboo has delivered — a full offering for retailers of all sizes that will power the backend of their online stores.”
Megumi Ikeda, MD of Hearst Ventures, said: “Along the with the massive acceleration in eCommerce comes the need for quality fulfilment. This can become an overwhelming burden for SMBs and a driver of poor customer experience. In Huboo, we found a company that provides excellent service with its complete full-stack rebuild of multi-channel fulfilment – from client-facing software to warehouse operations. We are beyond excited to support Huboo in growing its business and offering.”
The funding will be used to support three strategic priorities – software development, UK expansion and establishing an on-the-ground European presence for the business.
Huboo will be increasing its software development team 10-fold in the next year to further expand the capabilities of its fulfilment software platform and, to support its rapid domestic client growth, the business will be opening a third UK warehouse in October 2020 with a fourth warehouse planned to open in January 2021.