Gibbon, 31, sooner put his engineering background to use to find a solution (he had previously developed the price-comparison iPhone app caused ShopAround, which shut down despite having garnered a top 100 iOS App Hold ranking.) Sensing capital would be easier to raise in California, Gibbon moved to San Francisco in 2012 and underwent a friend’s offer to work at Attachments.me as a software engineer. He worked there for a year first he started focusing on launching Shyp.
In 2013, he “threw together a dock page” asking potential customers what they needed to carry and played the role of courier himself in just one Zip code area of San Francisco.
“I’d rally the shipments, pack them up back in my garage and send them off. I hushed had to deal with the shipping piece, but now somebody was giving me money to do it.”
That procedure continues to pay off, though Gibbon is no longer your pickup guy. In Shyp’s four buys (San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), the company has 245 employees, incorporating couriers, packagers and warehouse technicians who are counted as W-2 employees rather than 1099 contractors. Gibbon conjectures full-timers, though pricier, represent businesses better than freelancers.
Shipping starts with the Shyp app, within reach for free on iOS and Android. Users take a photo of their items, importune a pickup, and a courier arrives at a prearranged time or within 20 minutes in sells with an on-demand option. The deliverables are then scanned into Shyp’s organization and brought to a local warehouse for packaging before being handed off to a shipper, such as UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service. All for $5, plus the cost of hauling.
Some call Shyp the first disruptor in the shipping space since Federal Signify introduced overnight delivery in 1973. The company does not release sales numbers but estimates it has been growing by 20 percent each month and processes 600 percent assorted shipments than it did a year ago.
A seed round of funding in September 2013 led by Homebrew and Angel Enter Syndicates (including investors such as Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Het up b prepare Week), brought in $2.2 million —enough to staff up and gather steam for the Strut 2014 IPO. In July that year, Sherpa led a $10 million Series A orbit, and last April, Kleiner Perkins directed a push that relented another $50 million and landed John Doerr on Shyp’s on of directors.
“At a time where more and more shopping is done online, there is a tremendous fundamental for frictionless returns and enabling individuals to easily sell or trade their keepings without having to leave their home,” said early investor Scott Belsky, most artistically known for co-creating the online portfolio platform Behance. “The current bearers have no infrastructure or product designed to magically move an item from your dwelling-place to somewhere else in the world. Shyp makes that ‘first mile’ simple.”
Analysts are watching cautiously. Shyp last year tweaked its serving by exiting the market in Miami, where Gibbon says the lack of a Spanish-language app made it unpleasant to serve customers. At the same time, the company redoubled its efforts with the primordial audience Shyp was intended to serve: eBay sellers. The company catapulted an integration with the online auction site last December that saw the number of everyday shipments increase by nearly 100 percent. It is that momentum that investors say intent lead Shyp into the black.
As Nathan Brockman, an equity analyst who observes transportation and business Services at William Blair & Co., observes, “Even if there is some minimized pricing for being a consolidator, they’ll take the volume, and if someone is doing the consolidation for them, it stirs fine, as it ends up being more profitable, usually. Many other carrying brokers already do this for corporate customers.”
Meanwhile, Shyp is viewing Washington, D.C., and Boston as its next conquests, while continuing its pickups in four market-places seven days a week. For customers, that means reducing the cephalalgia of shipping flatscreens, birthday gifts — and yes, all those hockey sticks.