Whitebox, the eCommerce automation and fulfillment technology company, announced it has closed a $5 Million Series A financing round led by TDF Ventures. New investor David Williams, Chairman and CEO of Merkle, joined existing major investors who are increasing their support such as Chris Brandenburg, Co-Founder and CTO of Millennial Media.
“Whitebox is uniquely positioned to power brands operating in the direct-to-consumer space,” said James Pastoriza, Managing Director of TDF Ventures. “The team has unmatched expertise across eCommerce, marketplaces, major digital platforms, direct-to-consumer logistics and mobile technology. Our investment signifies our confidence in the team, growth to date, the company and its market potential. By Q1 of 2019, more brick-and-mortar store closings have been announced in the U.S. than in all of 2018, which clearly demonstrates the opportunity in the fast-growing eCommerce market.”
In 2018, consumers spent $517 billion online with U.S. merchants, which represents an increase of 15% from $450 billion in 2017, according to Internet Retailer analysis and U.S. Commerce Department data. While Amazon remains the titan, Walmart, eBay, Etsy, Alibaba and Overstock.com round out the top seven eCommerce marketplaces in the US, according to CPC Strategy. Earlier this year, Target announced Target+, its third-party, curated marketplace.
“Today eCommerce has given consumers nearly endless options,” said Marcus Startzel, CEO of Whitebox. “Consumers can choose to buy a single product, a multi-pack, a variety pack, same-day shipping, two-day shipping, whatever they want. Brands, on the other hand, must battle through the selling and fulfillment challenges left by this explosion of consumer choice. This is exactly the problem Whitebox is solving: brands can now offer these options with all-in-one technology-enabled eCommerce outsourcing, from the factory floor to the consumer’s front door, all while reducing time from sale to delivery as cost effectively as possible.”
Named one of the “6 Best 3rd-Party Logistics (3PL) Companies 2019” and one of the “6 Best Fulfillment Warehouse Providers 2019” by Fits Small Business, Whitebox will use the funding to accelerate its customer segment growth, hire key experts, invest in sales and marketing, refine its technology solutions and open additional fulfillment centers in the U.S.
“We could not be more excited about our team of investors,” Startzel said. “The operators on the TDF Ventures team, combined with very successful C-level executives and founders who’ve invested, bring us a wealth of experience and market perspective to accelerate our growth plans.”
Whitebox built its technology platform for brands to capitalize on direct-to-consumer trends and deliver a true eCommerce logistics solution. Its customers include large brands such as Starbucks and KitchenAid, as well as challenger digital-native brands such as Kitu (makers of Super Coffee) and Bare Bones.
“We are using technology, logistics, fulfillment and marketing solutions to streamline the brand-to-consumer relationship. This requires a fundamentally new approach,” Startzel said. “We will be the technology partner of choice so DTC companies of all sizes can focus on building best-of-breed products. If you are a brand selling products today, Whitebox captures sales opportunities others cannot and provides cost savings others will not.”
“The bottom line is that we are Powering the DTC Economy by creating more direct connections with brands and delighting consumers,” Startzel said.