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PHL startup Shipmates raises P125M to improve shipping platform

PHILIPPINE-based startup Shipmates said it has raised $2.2 million (P125 million) for the improvement of its shipping platform that assists online small and medium businesses.

In a statement on Thursday, Shipmates said it was able to raise the fund through a seed funding round participated by Cathexis Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Taurus Ventures, Capital X, Sketchnote Partners, and other investors.

“The company plans to scale its platform to be the preferred shipping tool of all the merchants in the Philippines and improve the country’s shipping infrastructure by helping both online businesses and shipping companies,” Shipmates said.

Prior to the recent seed funding round, Shipmates was able to raise $500,000 (P25 million) in seed funding from United States-based startup incubator Y Combinator.

“When talking to online sellers, their biggest pain point has always been how manual shipping still is in our country. We built Shipmates to automate this, we built Shipmates for them and we are very glad to be joined by our amazing investors in making this vision a reality,” Shipmates Chief Executive Officer Josh Supan said.

“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,” he added.

Further, Mr. Supan said that nine courier companies are currently integrated into the platform, adding that Shipmates is the only aggregator that has on-demand and standard couriers in the Philippines.

“Before Shipmates, it took merchants one whole day to send out their orders. Now they can do it in less than 10 minutes with Shipmates. Key features such as automated waybills, address validations, and multiple couriers in one platform give online merchants more time for their business rather than stressing on deliveries,” Mr. Supan said.

“We target small and medium businesses who primarily sell online. Their basket sizes range from $20 to $50. We solve the nightmare of shipping manually in the Philippines,” he added.

Founded in July 2021, Shipmates helps e-commerce businesses grow by allowing online business owners to book standard or multiple orders. It also compares the shipping rates among different couriers.

“In 2021, the e-commerce market was the leading contributor to the internet economy in the Philippines, with an estimated gross merchandise value of $12 billion — a 132% increase from 2020. This is expected to hit $26 billion by 2025,” Shipmates said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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