Frisbo, the Romanian e-fulfillment startup that matches online stores with a network of fulfillment operators and smart logistics providers, raised a $2M investment round to make next-day delivery an industry standard in Europe.
The round was led by the Bulgarian VC Eleven Ventures and was joined by the Romanian GapMinder, a previous investor in Frisbo, as well as Roca X, and Neogen Capital, which is focused on investing in the development of online marketplaces.
Hitting a valuation of almost $14M, Frisbo will use the investment to expand its European fulfillment network and help more regional stores to scale online and gain access to neighboring and remote markets. The startup also aims to reinforce and consolidate its market position as the largest European next-day delivery e-fulfillment network.
“Although EU countries are part of a single market, there is still large fragmentation when it comes to cross-border e-commerce. 90% of online stores in the EU don’t sell beyond their home country’s border. We believe that the team of Frisbo has already discovered what the future of e-commerce logistics looks like and they are tackling this big issue affecting a great number of online merchants. The team is strong with a well-rounded skill set and experience with a proven track record of building successful companies,” comments Valeri Petrov, Partner at Eleven Ventures.
Enabling stores to scale online
Before founding Frisbo, two of the co-founders, Bogdan Colceriu and Laura Frincu, were involved in an e-commerce business, bringing products from the UK. Having experienced first-hand the logistics problems of online retailers, they decided to start a business as a solution to these challenges.
That is why in 2014, they started doing traditional fulfillment, servicing other online shops from their own warehouse. However, they soon discovered that the main problem was connected to scaling and pivoted their business around two years ago.
“We identified that fulfillment is very hard to scale, because the more orders you operate, the more people you need to hire, and the more space you need to build or run. That is the main reason why we see that most fulfillers do not scale outside their countries,” Colceriu explains.
In other words, Colceriu highlights that online stores cannot easily go outside of their geographies because they need to find local fulfillment and couriers everywhere. That is how the idea of integrating existing local fulfillment capacities into one fulfillment network was born.
More on the technical and business side of Frisbo
Frisbo is an end-to-end solution provider for e-commerce logistics which covers storage, picking and packaging, invoicing, and delivery. The startup has developed both a web platform with a dynamic dashboard and an application that can be integrated with all kinds of sales channels such as Shopify and eMAG Marketplace.
The way Frisbo works is by integrating with the Building Management Systems (BMS) of local fulfillers as well as by integrating with marketplaces and e-commerce platforms. If local fulfillers do not have a BMS set in place, Frisbo provides them with one.
From a business perspective, the startup has a shared revenue model with the warehouses. Colceriu explains that the business model of Frisbo provides online shops with very good rates that they can’t outperform even if they choose to go direct and take full control of their fulfillment operations.
Disruptor of the e-commerce industry?
Frisbo is currently working with international brands such as Foodpanda, Xiaomi, and Bitdefender, and its network of 20 warehouses for next-day delivery covers the entire Europe.
With the latest investment, Frisbo will be able to expand its operations everywhere in Europe, including the UK. This means integrating more marketplaces and e-commerce platforms, as well as more local warehouses. Additionally, The team of Frisbo will aim to develop the platform so that it makes it easier for clients to self-onboard and manage their fulfillments through Frisbo.
When it comes to the industry-wide effects of e-fulfillment solutions, Colceriu shares the following: “Companies like ours, will not change so much the fulfillment industry, but will empower the e-commerce Industry to scale cross border. Today, less than 8% of online shops sell across borders, and most of them do it from their home country, which means long deliveries and decreased competitiveness. We believe that our solution shapes the e-commerce Industry by making it easier for online stores to move and sell anywhere,” he concludes.