ShipBob Celebrate its 5-Year Anniversary

ShipBob by the numbers:

  • 5 fulfillment centers launched in the United States
  • 500+ employees
  • 536,000 square feet of warehouse space (up from 202,000 only 8 months ago)
  • 300% growth year over year
  • $62.5 million raised in capital
  • 3% ranking among all Y Combinator companies

Since 2014, ShipBob has set out to create software and provide fulfillment services for ecommerce businesses of all sizes. We want to democratize shipping and fulfillment, so everybody can provide a next-day and 2-day shipping experience for their customers.

ShipBob’s purpose is and will always be to:

Help ecommerce businesses be more successful online.

We are always striving for ways to fulfill on this.

It’s surreal that a business Divey Gulati and I started 5 years ago today has flourished into a company with hundreds of ShipBobbers and thousands of customers, who ship millions of packages every quarter.

Each customer, employee, partner, and investor has helped us get there.

When we started ShipBob, companies described as Uber for “X” — where X could be dog walking, home-services or even shipping — were in vogue.

As an entrepreneur, saying terms like “Uber for X” or “on-demand” would help raise large rounds of financing. ShipBob never used either of those terms. Unlike Uber, which does not own any of its own cars, ShipBob owns and operates its own fulfillment centers, the software our customers use, and the software our employees use in the fulfillment centers.

To imagine ShipBob’s success, we had to break past the “on-demand” or Uber-centric framework.

We wanted to control and facilitate the entire stack.

It required courage and conviction, but we were confident that our model would be sustainable.

To our customers: It’s been a pleasure to grow alongside you and build personal relationships with you. As a fellow entrepreneur, I am inspired by your success and love nothing more than seeing you achieve greatness. Thank you!

To our employees: Building our fulfillment infrastructure from the ground up is no easy feat. We have the privilege of operating a technology company with major physical and human components. This requires bold thinking and big ambitions, neither of which are easy to find in people, nor are they for the faint of heart. Being resilient is one of the most under-appreciated and unspoken characteristics of successful startups — the reason it is one of our four core values. We are here today because you have continued to show up. Thank you for all you do!

To our partners: Thank you for extending your offerings and resources to our customers and being an extension of our business. We are here to support you, support your customers, and for us all to grow and thrive together.

To our investors: Thank you for seeing the opportunity in the market, our solution, and the promise in our team. You’ve been integral in getting us here. And we are just getting started.

I am often asked what the next five years of this industry will look like. I wish I had a way to be a visionary and tell you with a lot of conviction what ecommerce will evolve into. However, I will spare you the trouble as more likely than not, I will be wrong. That is the beauty of tech innovation. It tends to be non-linear and no one can predict who the next Facebook, Google, or Amazon will be.

The pace of innovation is accelerating and the barriers to entry for entrepreneurship are coming down. And we are helping make that a reality for one of the most labor and monetary-intensive aspects of business.

Retail is one of the largest industries in the world and ecommerce’s share of retail is steadily increasing. Ecommerce will continue to attract a lot of young companies to innovate and experiment in the hopes of building a large company.

Consumers (like you and me) will continue to expect ecommerce purchases to be delivered faster and more inexpensively. This concept has driven our fulfillment infrastructure of distributed inventory and the technological innovations to make it possible. If we have the inventory closer to the end destination and the algorithmic logic to make decisions in real-time, it will not only be faster, but also cheaper to deliver.

As we continue to grow at an accelerating pace, keep up with such a dynamic, ever-evolving landscape, and become the market leader in this space, I hope you continue on this journey with us.

I’ll end on this great African proverb:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

We are building this company to go far with all of us together. Thank you for joining us on this journey. I am humbled and inspired by you every single day. Onto the next 5 years!