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The true heroes of electronic commerce

In 2015, while working at Fundación Chile, two engineers conducted an experiment and charged $ 3,500 for the dispatch of a product. Today, Shipit moves 2,000 parcels daily and billed US $ 2 million in 2018. They are preparing to open their fourth investment round to expand abroad.

The career of Allan Guiloff as an entrepreneur began … without being an entrepreneur. While studying Commercial Engineering at the University of Chile, I took digital business lines and finance assistantships for entrepreneurs. He even managed to do his work practice at Fundación Chile (FCH) “to stay working there,” he recalls.

Said and done. He was in the business incubator of FCH, in a program where they received $ 2.100 million from Corfo to assign them to startups. He had a portfolio of fintech and digital marketing startups. “Those two years were about five years of entrepreneurship, because I could learn their good and bad practices and make them their own,” adds Allan.

One day he received the call that would mark the gestation of Shipit. They asked for help to send a package by courier and that’s where the idea came about: to be a link between courier companies and those that sell over the internet so that the product reaches the final customer efficiently and cheaply.

An e-commerce facilitator “We did a test: a shipment to Las Condes for $ 3,500. It was our first sale and Shipit did not even exist, “says the current co-founder and CEO of this company.

Allan and his co-worker, the engineer José Tomás Novoa, chewed the idea and embarked on the adventure. They gave up their work in mid-2015 and got a tiny space for $ 100,000 at the offices of an e-commerce company. “Something I learned at Fundación Chile is that entrepreneurs do not put limits on their business.

They stretch the gum as much as they can. That is an error. Time is very valuable and you have to know when to pull the chain and move to another business, “says Allan. Following this philosophy, in July 2015, it was proposed to raise capital for a period of November of the same year. If they did not succeed, they would distribute their CVs again. Before the end of the final account they got $ 60 million from three private investors.

With this amount they began to develop a technology to optimize the process of searching and sending products via courier, with a couple of dispatches a week. Today, they already deliver the service to more than 400 e-commerce in Santiago, making an average of 2,000 daily shipments.

In 2016 they sold US $ 500 thousand, in 2017 US $ 1 million, in 2018, US $ 2 million and in 2019 they hope to reach US $ 4 million. They followed the methodology of “The Entrepreneur’s Route” created in FCH. That is, go step by step fulfilling specific milestones. “Having a startup is like being in a submarine. You have to go closing a hatch (or stage), to move to the next compartment, “says Guiloff.

So far, they have had three capital uprisings, amounting to US $ 1 million. The majority has been private investment, on behalf of the logistic operation company K Group. But they also won a StartUp-Chile, a fund with Magical Startup ($ 40 million) and another with Imagine Labs ($ 60 million).

The founders of Shipit promise, first, that any e-commerce can create an account in 5 minutes and start making the first shipment. The other promise is that the same day the product is removed and reaches the next recipient. Behind this, there is a formula: When the product is removed from the seller, it is taken to a distribution center.

At 7:00 p.m., courier companies pass by to carry out the “last mile” delivery. Everything is managed in a platform where the e-commerce can compare and decide for the cheapest dispatch.

“We are a processor that adds the technological layer”, says Allan, and reinforces: “We transacted about 40,000 pieces a month with a team of 15 people. Even, we are free of large assets, like cars.

-But when they remove the merchandise where the seller, do not they use cars? I ask. The answer is quick and unusual: “We do it through heroes”.

Allan refers to about ten people (who usually also work at Uber or Cornershop) who pick up parcels during the afternoons and “save you from the pain of shipping. That’s why they are heroes of electronic commerce, “he says with a laugh.

They have two types of clients. “The one that is born being e-commerce and the one that ends up being e-commerce,” he says. The first corresponds to the new type of entrepreneur who, for example, brings products from China and starts selling online. The other is the retailer that has dozens of stores, but it is hard to get into e-commerce.

Between big and small, names like Limonada, Patagonia, eBike, Julieta Foundation, C / Moran, Giani Da Firenze and Thermomix come out.

Along with expanding to regions, this year they plan to open Colombia and Peru and perhaps – through a partner – Bolivia and Paraguay. To achieve these goals, in March they will begin their fourth round of capital investment to raise about US $ 6 million.

Published inE-commerceTechnology

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