Logistics startup for ecommerce retailers raises a further £6.5m to serve the booming UK retail market

Author

UK Business Angels Association

09 May 2019

  • £6.5m raised in Series A round, bringing the total raised to date to £8.7m
  • 10x company growth in the last 18 months
  • Over 1 million items fulfilled by Weengs to date
  • Round led by Oxford Capital and William Orde joins the board
  • Funding will be used to invest in automated warehouse operations

Weengs, a smart logistics startup that partners with ecommerce businesses to get online orders to their customers reliably and efficiently, has secured £6.5m in Series A funding. The investment round was led by venture capital firm Oxford Capital and was followed on by Weeng’s seed investors who include Local Globe, Cherry Ventures and Venture Friends. Weengs is using the funding to invest heavily in automation and technology to supercharge their operations to be able to fulfil more than 15,000 ecommerce orders per day.

Weengs supports retailers who are seizing the growth of the ecommerce opportunity by providing a ship-from-store logistics solution that delivers the experience consumers expect, at no hassle to the retailer. Weengs collects orders daily from retailers’ stores, professionally packs them back at the Weengs warehouse and ships them to customers. Time wasted on fulfilment has long been the silent killer for ecommerce businesses and the Weengs fulfilment service is saving its retailers an average of four hours /day. Weengs can pack and ship a broad range of products all over the world – everything from plants to musical instruments and everyday items, such as cosmetics and electronics. Weengs has partnerships with a range of carriers and uses smart algorithms to ensure the best delivery experience for the end customer. Co-founder and CEO of Weengs, Pier Ronzi says “The future is in ecommerce and the logistics problem was holding retail business owners back. We provide a seamless experience that increases consumer confidence to buy from anyone.”

To improve its service offering, Weengs is using the funding to invest heavily in automated operations in their new warehouse, which is five times the size of their previous one. The startup is also building a data integration solution with retailers to optimise their fulfilment needs, such as delivery speed, packing customisation and matching with the best last mile carrier. Soon, Weengs will be able to offer full bespoke packing automation through machinery and proprietary software which will enable the startup to fulfil more than 15,000 orders per day. Weengs will also be able to expand their geographical coverage outside of London to the rest of the UK, which has the third largest ecommerce market in the world.

Weengs is solving a huge problem for a growing market. It is expected that 18% of all UK retail purchases will occur online this year. By 2040, it is thought that 95% of purchases will be facilitated by ecommerce. Retailers are responding to the rise in online orders by moving to a ship-from-store solution. Ship-from-store allows retailers to be more agile and respond to the growing demand from consumers for a seamless online and offline experience. Ship-from-store also saves retailers time, improves inventory optimization and increases sales and profitability. With Weengs, retailers can enjoy the benefits of this rising trend, while not wasting precious retail space on packing areas and materials or having the technology and know-how of logistics fulfilment. The professionalism of the Weengs fulfilment service also means retailers can reach customer expectations on packaging and delivery experience.

Weengs was founded by serial entrepreneurs, Alex Christodolou and Greg Zontanos, who were looking to solve a real problem – one which would be “a painkiller, not a vitamin”. As demand from ecommerce consumers grows, so does the demand for the Weengs service from retailers. Since the seed round, the team has grown to 70 people and Pier Ronzi, previously at McKinsey&Co, joined as a Co-founder & CEO to lead the business’ further growth. The startup has grown more than 10x in the last 18 months and now has about 400 retailers as customers. Weengs has fulfilled more than 500,000 online orders to date. Prior to Weengs, retailers were either handling fulfilment themselves or using far-located and expensive fulfilment centres. By next year, Weengs will have saved its retailers over 2 million hours of time which would have otherwise been spent on fulfilment.

William Orde, a partner at Oxford Capital, who is joining the board says “‘Weengs logistics service combines both tech and operational innovation to transform packaging and posting customer orders for retailers from a messy back-room task to a scalable third-party service. We’re excited by the leverage Weengs service gives to small retailers as they move online and to back Pier and the team as they disrupt this space’

Co-founder and CEO of Weengs, Pier Ronzi says “Oxford Capital is the right investor to have on board as we embark on this ambitious next phase of growth for the business. Their deep experience with ecommerce businesses and their strong network in the UK market will be invaluable. We’re hugely excited for the next phase of Weengs and we’re one step closer to fulfilling our mission to keep ecommerce moving and retail entrepreneurs thriving.”

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