Ingrid Secures $23 Million Investment to Enhance E-Commerce Delivery Platform by Eliminating ‘Free Shipping’

Among the many stress points in e-commerce machine, delivery has long been seen as one of the more painful ones. “Delivery is the biggest unsolved puzzle is delivery part,” Piotr Zaleski, Ingrid’s co-founder and CEO said in an interview. And in case you are at all curious: Ingrid the business was not named to ensure coverage in TechCrunch by me, Ingrid. Ingrid has identified a very obvious problem that most certainly can use fixing, but it also faces a few challenges. “The only way is to build a hell of a platform that retailers want to use to take a volume position,” Zaleski said.

Ingrid: Transforming Last-Mile Delivery for Online Shopping

Ingrid is a game-changing startup based in Stockholm, Sweden, that recently announced its successful raise of €21 million (approximately $23 million) in funding. The company’s ambitious goal? To revolutionize the final leg of online shopping: delivery.

Through innovative data science and forward-thinking ideas about the future of delivery, Ingrid is on a mission to expand its reach to even more markets across Europe.

The Pain Points of E-commerce Delivery

One of the most stressful aspects of the e-commerce machine has always been delivery. It can be expensive for both buyers and sellers, leave customers feeling helpless when something goes wrong, have negative environmental impacts, and has become a competitive advantage for industry behemoths such as Amazon and their Prime membership program.

“Delivery is the biggest unsolved puzzle for retailers,” explains Piotr Zaleski, co-founder and CEO of Ingrid, in a recent interview. “It’s where most things go wrong.”

Recognizing these pain points, Ingrid has developed a platform that aims to cover the entire “end-to-end” delivery experience.

A Seamless, Integrated Solution

By providing an API that integrates with a retailer’s purchasing flow, Ingrid offers customers a more accurate and transparent idea of shipping costs before checkout. This helps reduce “checkout shock” and subsequent cart abandonment.

Additionally, Ingrid partners with a variety of delivery providers, giving customers the ability to choose from various delivery services, speeds, and prices. The company even manages the post-sale process, from tracking orders to handling returns, thanks to its acquisition of Turnr, a specialist in return management, last year.

Zaleski and his co-founder, Anders Ekman, made a conscious decision to name their business something approachable and uplifting, rather than strategic or gimmicky. They landed on “Ingrid,” a name with a Scandinavian flair that could easily resonate with their primary target market: the Nordics.

Interestingly, “Ingrid” was already registered to a private individual – a woman whose father foresaw the importance of securing a domain name for his daughter in the 1990s. The name was not held ransom by a domain squatter, as is often the case with simple and popular names, and was eventually sold to the Ingrid founders at a reasonable price.

Challenges for Ingrid

The “Cold-Start” Problem

As with any startup, Ingrid faces its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest hurdles is what Zaleski refers to as the “cold-start” problem – building a business from scratch without an existing network of relationships.

To overcome this obstacle, Ingrid is leveraging its strong foothold in the Swedish market to expand into new territories through partnerships with established retailers. The company already boasts an impressive 20% share of the Swedish consumer market and is showing strong signs of accelerated growth.

The Competition

Another challenge for Ingrid is the tough competition in the delivery management space. Companies like FarEye and Shipsy are also working to solve the same problems for retailers, making it a crowded market.

However, Ingrid’s focus and success in its home region give it a unique advantage. In addition, the company uses data science to optimize the entire process, from understanding consumer segmentation to offering personalized delivery options.

Investors Take Notice

The team at Verdane, a leading investment firm, was immediately drawn to Ingrid’s potential. “We’ve been looking at e-commerce enablement software for a long time, and it takes time to understand how it works,” says Paula Ruiz Azcue, a director at Verdane who led the firm’s investment in Ingrid. “But because we know the companies, we can dissect the space and identify the winners. We like how Ingrid is so focused on customer experience and has optimized accordingly.”

Not Chasing the “Free Shipping” Trend

While many companies are chasing the seemingly irresistible trend of offering “free shipping” to customers, Ingrid takes a different approach. Zaleski sees this trend as ultimately unsustainable, with companies sacrificing profits to match Amazon’s lucrative Prime program.

“I’m against free shipping,” Zaleski boldly states. And while Ingrid does offer ways for retailers to potentially offer Prime-like benefits without giving up ownership or taking a cut from their margins, the company is not interested in building a direct competitor to Amazon’s Prime service.

Ingrid’s strategy is instead focused on pooling retailer’s volume together to secure better shipping rates for customers, ultimately passing the savings onto buyers in specific markets.

The Future of Ingrid

Ingrid currently serves over 250 customers across 180 countries and has processed an impressive 130 million orders to date (with 40 million annual orders currently). While the company is not disclosing revenues or valuation at this time, it has raised a total of €32 million in funding, with Verdane and Schibsted Ventures as its lead investors in its most recent round.

Despite the challenges that come with any startup, the team at Ingrid remains confident in their unique approach to last-mile delivery. And with the support of their investors and the proven success in their home market, it’s clear that Ingrid has a bright future ahead.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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