Shipwire Gives Mom-and-Pops the Fulfillment Services of Big Retailers

2/25/13Follow @xconomy

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shifted. “When the U.S. consumer died the world of personal consumption didn’t die, it just became volatile. It moved around. Europe became the great consumer place and then Australia and Canada.”

As consumer demand moves around the globe, Shipwire can deal with logistics that companies just don’t want to have to bother with—like which warehouses are the best to store their products in and how to deal with non-roman characters in shipping addresses.

“What if only part of the order is available in that warehouse?” Schechter says. “You have to add an amplifier to the power of ten to the kind of complications that can be inserted that the brand doesn’t want to think about and the customer doesn’t care about.”

The company charges its clients on a sliding scale based on the number of products shipped per month, the average number of products per order, and the amount of storage space needed in their warehouses.

So far, the company has raised $15 million—including a 2007 Series A round of $4 million from Meakem Becker Venture Capital, and a $6 million round in 2011 from Meaker, eBay, and Newell Rubbermaid.

Shipwire solves problems for small businesses, but it doesn’t cater exclusively to them. Bigger companies looking to get a product out the door quickly can bring their business to Shipwire too, and may choose to even if they have their own operation. Sometimes new products need to move as quickly as if they were coming from a smaller business with a smaller focus. Or bigger companies who don’t usually deal in manufactured goods can turn to Shipwire to handle the logistics of shipping.

“Look at the product,” Schechter says. “If the product is moving quickly and going across multiple channels and needs to go global very quickly, that’s where Shipwire fits in.”

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