Weengs, the U.K. logistics startup for e-commerce businesses that need a more convenient path of getting online orders to customers, has raised £6.5 million in successions a funding. Leading the circular is adventure capital compact Oxford Capital, with Weeng’s seed investors, including Local Globe, Cherry Ventures and VentureFriends, following on.
Founded by Alex Christodoulou and Greg Zontanos, Weengs provides little and medium-sized online stores of various kinds, including eBay and Amazon energy sellers and brick ‘n’ mortar stores with an e-commerce element, with a “ship-from-store” logistics solution that handles amass, packing and delivery.
The basic premise is that moment costs cash, which can make e-commerce quite prohibitive. By outsourcing moment-consuming and labour-intensive logistics, store owners can put their moment into other more profitable and differentiating aspects of their business, such as sales and marketing, and customer experience.
To make this work, Weengs collects orders daily from retailers’ stores, and professionally packs them back at the Weengs warehouse before they are shipped to customers via the couriers with which the company partners.
Weengs says it can pack and ship globally a broad range of products, including less-obvious items such as plants, musical instruments and electronics and everyday items like cosmetics. It has developed algorithms to pick the most appropriate courier service based on the item and customer priorities.
“Our business is part of the rising omnichannel opportunity we are seeing in retail,” says Pier Ronzi, Weengs’ more recently added co-founder and CEO. “Increasingly, it makes sense for retailers to ship-from-store. Basically cities and stores are becoming distributed inventories that retailers can leverage to increase their business and Weengs helps them [by] benefaction an one-stop-shop solution for their fulfillment while they can focus on their core activity.”
Since Weengs’ seed circular, the group has grown to 70 people and saw Ronzi, who previously worked at McKinsey & Co., join the company. The startup now has around 400 retailers as customers and says it has fulfilled more than 500,000 online orders to date.
“We have learnt that our service saves retailers an enormous amount of moment and that is the key to our value proposition versus, for instance, price,” says Ronzi. Prior to Weengs, customers typically handled fulfillment themselves or used costly fulfillment centres.
To that end, Weengs says it will use the brand-new funding to invest heavily in its brand-new warehouse and accompanying automation and technology. The plan is to “supercharge” operations to be able to fulfill more than 15,000 e-commerce orders per day.
Explains the Weengs CEO: “The packing operations today is mainly manual. In the brand-new automated warehouse we are implementing a process governed by our app and leveraging a packing appliance that automatically performs the packing operations: the order item is fed to the appliance and, at the end of a quick automated process, the order comes out packed in a very high quality and bespoke box, labelled and prepared to be handed over to the carriers. The process becomes heavily automated but we still add the human being tap for value-added activities such as preparation of fragile items and supervision of the whole process.”