Technology company Shutl is looking to take its 90-minute delivery service to Europe after winning funding of £650,000.
Hummingbird Ventures and an unnamed European postal group have put the cash into the technology company, which is currently running a pilot delivery scheme with multichannel retailer Argos.
Shutl will use the money to build a sales team, expand its in-house software development team and explore international opportunities.
Shutl’s delivery service allows online and multichannel retailers to promise delivery within 90 minutes or in a one-hour time slot of their choosing. The service works by aggregating capacity for local same-day couriers into a web service that can integrate with retailers’ ecommerce platforms. They can offer delivery at a price comparable to the cost of standard one to two day delivery and faster than the traditional ‘hub and spoke’ courier services.
Barend Van Den Brande, managing partner of Hummingbird Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital fund for fast-growth digital media and software companies, said: “Shutl has a disruptive proposition that is loved by customers and operates within the rapidly growing ecommerce market. These fundamentals alone are very attractive to an investor but now we also have a partner capable of truly accelerating Shutl’s market potential.”
The European postal group investor is choosing to stay anonymous while it works with Shutl to develop European expansion plans, and work out how that will best fit alongside its own existing services.
Shutl was originally financed by £50,000 by its founder, Tom Allason (pictured), who previously set up eCourier.co.uk. That was later matched by the rest of the team. It then won £500,000 in October 2009 from investors led by Simon Murdoch and Big Bang Ventures, and £400,000 from the same investors in August 2010.
Allason said: “I am particularly excited at the prospect of collaborating with a strategic investor that already has local infrastructure and retailer customers across Europe. We were in discussion with a number of VCs when we were approached by this party, and felt that no traditional investor could bring as much to the table.
“We still expect to look for series A funding towards the end of 2011. However we now have enough runway to launch with several additional UK multichannel retailers and to begin exploring the market right across Europe.”