Y Combinator-backed Shipmates raises US$2.2m seed funding

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SHIPMATES, a shipping platform based in the Philippines, has raised US$2.2 million in seed funding from investors such as Cathexis Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Taurus Ventures, Capital X and Sketchnote Partners.

The company's platform lets online business owners book standard or multiple shipping orders, and compare rates between couriers. Shipmates is targeting an e-commerce industry in the Philippines estimated to hit US$26 billion by 2025, going by gross merchandise value.

"When talking to online sellers, their biggest pain point has always been how manual shipping still is in our country," said chief executive officer Josh Supan. He said of the shipping platform: "Instead of shippers booking couriers manually on their phones or physically dropping off packages, their orders feed straight into Shipmates, and they can pick a courier for shipping from there."

The startup was founded in July 2021 by Supan and chief technology officer David Marquez, childhood friends who started an e-commerce enabler company in 2017. The duo pivoted from the business after realising that the bigger problem faced by merchants wasn't getting online, but in shipping their online orders.

Shipmates was accepted into South-east Asian startup accelerator Iterative. It later received US$500,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, becoming the 8th startup from the Philippines to join the Silicon Valley-based accelerator.

Nine courier companies are integrated with Shipmates' platform. The startup operates on a pay-per-use model, in which merchants pay a fee for every order booked through Shipmates.

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