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Logistics startup Stord raises $ 90 million in round led by Kleiner Perkins, becomes unicorn, acquires business – TechCrunch


When Kleiner Perkins ran Stord’s $ 12.4 million Series A in 2019, its founders were in their early 20s and so passionate about their startup that they each dropped out of their respective schools to focus on growing the business. the company.

Fast forward two years and Stord – an Atlanta-based company that has developed a cloud-based supply chain – is raising more capital in a round again led by Kleiner Perkins.

This time, Stord raised $ 90 million in a Series D funding round at a post-currency valuation of $ 1.125 billion, more than double the $ 510 million the company was valued at when raising 65. million dollars in Series C financing just six months ago. .

In fact, today’s funding marks Stord’s third since early December 2020, when he raised his Series B led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and brings the total raised by the company since its inception. in 2015 to $ 205 million.

In addition to Kleiner Perkins, Lux Capital, D1 Capital, Palm Tree Crew, BOND, Dynamo Ventures, Founders Fund, Lineage Logistics and Susa Ventures also helped fund Series D. In addition, Michael Rubin, Founder of Fanatics and Founder of GSI Trade ; Carlos Cashman, CEO of Thrasio; Max Mullen, co-founder of Instacart; and Will Gaybrick, CPO at Stripe, put some money in the trick.

Founders Sean Henry, 24, and Jacob Boudreau, 23, met while Henry was at Georgia Tech and Boudreau was taking online classes at Arizona State (ASU) but running his own business, a development company of software, in Atlanta.

Over time, Stord has evolved into a cloud supply chain that can give businesses a way to compete and grow through logistics, and provide an integrated platform “available exactly when and where they need it” , said Henry. Stord combines physical logistics services such as freight, warehousing and fulfillment into this platform, which aims to provide “full visibility, rapid optimization and elastic scale” to its users.

About two months ago, Stord announced the opening of its first distribution center, a 386,000 square foot facility, in Atlanta, which includes robotics and warehouse automation technologies. “It was the first time we were in a building ourselves to make it work end to end,” Henry said.

And today, the company announces that it has acquired Connecticut-based Fulfillment Works, a 22-year-old company with direct-to-consumer experience (DTC) and warehouses in Nevada and its home state.

With FulfillmentWorks, the company says it has increased its proprietary warehouses, as well as its network of more than 400 warehouse partners and 15,000 carriers.

Although Stord did not disclose how much he paid for Fulfillment Works, Henry shared some of Stord’s impressive financial metrics. The company, he said, achieved its third consecutive year of growth of over 300% in 2020, and is on track to do so again in 2021. Stord has also made over $ 100 million. in revenue in the first two quarters of 2021, according to Henry, and has increased its workforce from 160 people last year to more than 450 so far in 2021 (including about 150 Fulfillment Works employees). And since the fourth quarter is often the one where people shop the most online, Henry expects the three-month period to be Stord’s most profitable quarter.

In some context, Stord’s new sales increased “7x” in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. So far in the third quarter, sales have increased nearly 10 times, according to Henry.

Simply put, Stord aims to give brands a way to compete with Amazon, which has set expectations for fast fulfillment and delivery. The company guarantees two-day shipping anywhere in the country.

“The supply chain is the new competitive battleground,” said Henry. “Today’s buying expectations set by Amazon and the rise of the omnichannel shopper have put tremendous pressure on companies to maintain more agile and efficient supply chains… We want that every company has world-class Prime-type supply chains ”.

What makes Stord unique, according to Henry, is the fact that he has built what he believes to be the only end-to-end logistics network that combines physical infrastructure with software.

This is also one of the reasons why Kleiner Perkins doubled his investment in the company.

Ilya Fushman, director of the board of directors of Stord and partner at Kleiner Perkins, said even at the time of his business investment in 2019, that Henry had demonstrated “incredible maturity and vision.” .

At a high level, the company was also simply drawn to what he described as “an incredibly significant market opportunity”.

“There are trillions of dollars in products floating around, with consumers expecting these products to reach them the same day or the next, wherever they are,” Fushman told TechCrunch. “And while companies like Amazon have built an incredible infrastructure to do it themselves, the rest of the world hasn’t really caught up … So there is an incredible opportunity to build software and services to modernize this. multi-billion dollar market. “

In other words, Fushman explained, Stord serves as a “plug and play” or “one stop shop” for retailers and traders so they don’t have to spend resources on their own warehouses or build their own. own logistics platforms.

Stord launched the software portion of its business in January 2020 and grew 900% during the year, and today is one of the fastest growing parts of its business.

“We have created software to manage our logistics and our network of hundreds of warehouses,” Henry told TechCrunch. “But if businesses want to use the same system for existing logistics, they can buy our software to get that kind of visibility. “