Seven Senders and Hive: Start-ups benefit from the e-commerce boom

Parcels in a Deutsche Post delivery center in Düsseldorf

The logistics industry is benefiting from the boom in online trading.


(Photo: dpa)

Hamburg Online trading has been booming since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Statista, e-commerce in Europe increased by almost 20 percent to 377 billion euros in 2020. This means that the specialized logistics service providers are also growing. Two young Berlin companies are now receiving fresh money from venture capitalists in order to internationalize themselves with the growth impulse.

The larger sum goes to the shipping start-up Seven Senders. The company, founded in 2015, helps retailers with cross-border shipping between European countries. The founders Johannes Plehn and Thomas Hagemann will receive a further 32 million euros from their existing investors, the venture capitalists Digital + Partners and Btov. The company wants to publish this on Thursday, as the Handelsblatt learned.

“We will continue to use the positive market development and expand our services, also with a view to dealers outside the European economic area,” said Plehn. In concrete terms, this means: Seven Senders also wants to offer its service to dealers from China and the USA who want to ship to Europe. Above all, the shipping of inexpensive Chinese consumer electronics to end customers in Europe has gained in importance in recent years.

Long delivery times are a problem here – also because several different carriers are often involved in cross-border trade from the sender to the end customer. This is where Seven Senders wants to help: Among other things, the Berlin-based company is looking for the fastest parcel logisticians with the help of data and offers parcel tracking from a single source – across the various European delivery services. This should save the dealers money and enable better service.

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Seven Senders also benefits from Brexit, which makes online trade to Great Britain more difficult with a customs border. The Berliners have been offering their service for trade with the island since February.

Seven Senders recently opened sales offices in France and the Netherlands in order to win local dealers as customers. With the financing, Italy and Poland could soon be added, said a spokeswoman for Handelsblatt. In addition, Seven Senders wants to invest in its technology.

Since last March, i.e. the beginning of the pandemic, the company with its 200 employees has doubled sales to 100 million euros. Customers include the online optician Mister Spex and the fashion retailer Asos. “In expanding international mail order, Seven Senders took advantage of the opportunities that arose from the overall positive market development,” praised Digital + partner Patrick Beitel.

Founder Plehn assumes that the market will remain strong even after the pandemic: “The majority of users have experienced how pleasant shopping online can be and will not want to do without it in ‘normal’ times either. Accordingly, our estimates will last after around 60 to 80 percent of the boom. ”He expects e-commerce to continue to grow steadily from the higher level in the following years.

He now has a cash cushion for it. According to “Crunchbase”, Seven Senders has already collected a total of 22.5 million euros before the current round.

Earlybird supports the fulfillment provider Hive

Another Berlin founding team is also using the momentum in the industry this week. The investor Earlybird reports that the e-commerce logistics company Hive will receive EUR 6.6 million in start-up financing. Earlybird also cited the boom in e-commerce as one of the reasons. Hive is also aimed at dealers.

The start-up takes on the fulfillment – for example, storage and shipping of goods. It wants to position itself as an alternative for similar retailer offers from Amazon, for example. Co-founder Oskar Ziegler explained: “We want to use the money from the seed round to expand our product range, open up new markets and expand our team in Berlin.”

More: The competition for e-commerce in food

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