True’s Investment in Huboo – empowering e-commerce sellers through uncertain times
True has invested in fulfilment startup, Huboo, as part of its seed investment round. True is teaming up with Ada Ventures, Maersk Growth and Episode 1, who is already a co-investor in two of True’s seed portfolio companies, Klydo and ThirdEye.
Huboo is a full-stack fulfilment platform, managing storage, picking, packing and delivery for its clients. At the heart of the business is a multi-faceted software platform which optimises all stages of the fulfilment process. The company primarily serves micro, small and mid-sized e-commerce businesses, a massively underserved market in the UK and abroad.
There are roughly 550k retail and consumer SMEs in the UK, 25% to 40% of which sell online. The products sold by many of these businesses tie into consumer trends around quality, proximity and provenance. Front-end platforms, such as Shopify and Amazon, service these businesses well, however, there are limited back end providers offering the services required. Huboo’s software-enabled operating model profitably serves these small to medium retail and consumer businesses, where many of their competitors cannot.
Why did we invest?
- The founders
Huboo is founded by Martin Bysh and Paul Dodd.
Martin is a serial entrepreneur, having run two dating businesses in the past. He brings hard-nosed entrepreneurial nous to Huboo, but always does it with a smile. He has an intimate understanding of how to grow a business, how to motivate employees and how to negate all the challenges that come with running a fast-growing startup.
Paul is a battle-hardened logistician, who spent 20 years with Proctor & Gamble, latterly managing transport and warehousing innovation globally. Paul is the man behind the software platform which gives Huboo its edge.
Together, Martin and Paul make a potent combination, who are very easy to work with.
- The market
The SME end of the e-commerce market remains buoyent despite turbulent times. Platforms like Shopify, whose gross merchandise volume has doubled every 18 months or so since launch are a strong testament to this.
Within this market, there’s a clear dichotomy between front-end solutions and back-end. Aside from Shopify, there’s a plethora of other front-end platforms enabling SMEs to sell directly to consumers, such as Amazon, Magento and eBay. But, behind the scenes, there’s a clear dearth of tools. Especially, if you do not sell on Amazon, who offer competitive rates through Fulfilment by Amazon for Amazon sellers.
Huboo is one of the first tech-enabled entrants into this vast, underserved market, providing timely, scalable fulfilment solutions at a cost-effective price for SMEs.
- True value-add
Due to True’s retail and consumer focus, our value-add is clear when it comes to Huboo.
We have a huge number of exciting brands in our network, whether we know them through our seed fund, our PE fund or our innovation consultancy business. And many of these are ideal clients for Huboo. We will therefore be embedding Huboo within our Live Network and opening as many doors as possible to potential clients.
As Huboo offers a service at a more competitive rate and a greater consistency than its competitors, there’s a mutual benefit on both sides of the table.
Overall, we are delighted to be involved in the Huboo journey as they are an invaluable service and platform for many small and mid-sized e-commerce sellers in the current climate. Although we are facing unprecedented times, Huboo is supporting small businesses to get their product to their customers that need it, and given the current climate I think we can all be thankful for that!
If you’re an e-commerce brand looking for a reliable fulfilment partner that’s quick and easy to set up, let us know and we’d be happy to help.