We recently invested in Huboo Technologies. It was the fastest investment decision I have ever made. After 15 minutes with the founders, Martin and Paul, I was in. The proposition – multi channel fulfilment made easy – was so compelling, the team – entrepreneurial flair and deep industry expertise so profound, it was a simple yes. The quality of the team, the short-term commercial progress, the long-term vision for what Huboo can be and the overwhelmingly enthusiastic early customer feedback all combined this to make Huboo a must do investment for us.
Here at Episode 1, we are no strangers to the ecommerce / logistics space. My partner Simon Murdoch founded and sold Bookpages to Amazon and then ran Amazon in the UK and Europe at its inception. He was later Chairman of Shutl, the last mile delivery service, prior to its acquisition by eBay. In a former life, I was on the Board of BWG, a billion Euro distribution business and at Episode 1, I have been on the board of fast growing Scurri, whose software connects merchants to delivery partners throughout Europe.
So when we met Martin Bysh and Paul Dodd, founders of Huboo, we couldn’t wait to get on board. The base investment thesis is simple. There are many thousands of people selling all sorts of stuff online – whether on marketplaces like eBay, Etsy and Amazon or through their own online stores. Many of these individuals / traders / makers love sharing their passion and love designing and creating products and selling them to their end customers. They love to create online stores where they can communicate their offering and reach consumers all over the UK and beyond.
And nearly all of them absolutely HATE the process around fulfilling these orders – storing goods, picking and packing them and then, finally, sending them out to fulfil orders. Not many people launch a business wanting to spend evenings and weekends unpacking, wrapping and Monday morning queuing at the Post Office to get the goods to customers. That’s where Huboo comes in.
This is a huge market all on its own, we reckon that segment of ultra small SMEs is worth £1bn in the UK alone . But since we led the Seed round alongside our friends at Ada Ventures earlier this year, it turns out that there are much bigger companies looking for a solution to their fulfilment needs, and the Huboo model – transparent and competitive pricing, easy onboarding and in person customer support – is a perfect fit for them as well.
And the team has a product roadmap that extends into other areas of fulfilment, working with bigger brands and businesses in a number of different geographies, as well as helping existing customers to open shop fronts on numerous ecommerce platforms to gain exposure to more customers in more places and grow their own businesses without having to worry about actually sending the stuff when orders come in.
Really looking forward to working with Martin and Paul, and the rest of the team at Huboo, as they build an exciting and fast growing business.