Cubbo aims to be Latin America’s next e-commerce fulfillment leader

Colombian e-commerce fulfillment startup Cubbo landed $4 million in seed funding as it launches operations in its home country this month after first going into Mexico earlier this year.

The company came together in January under the leadership of Brian York and Josu Gurtubay. York’s backstory is quite interesting. He was born on the streets in Bogota, and was adopted and grew up in Boston.

In 2017, he started searching for his biological family in Colombia and reconnected with them. Prior to Cubbo, he founded three other startups in San Francisco. York previously worked with Gurtubay, too, in third-party logistics before transferring over the direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses into Cubbo.


Cubbo warehouse in Mexico City. Image Credits: Cubbo

Their vision is to transform city spaces throughout Latin America. For example, the company took over an abandoned space in Mexico City and turned it into an urban fulfilment center for its brands, York explained.

“Most of our customers sell through Amazon and Mercado Libre, so we manage their inventory and also some of the largest customers from outside of Mexico,” he added. “In Mexico, we are the only company that can take an order up to 5 p.m. and get it out in Mexico City the same day. Amazon and Mercado can do this, but have to get orders in earlier because their warehouses are outside the city.”

To keep costs down and the ability to get an order out the same day, Cubbo only handles non-perishable goods that are the size of a shoebox or smaller. This means items like cosmetics, consumer electronics and apparel. It also does not transport items itself, but partners with third parties to tackle the last-mile delivery after the company has picked, packed and bundled packages strategically.

The latest funding round was led by SV Latam Capital and included Bragiel Brothers, BluStone and a group of individual angel investors including Wonder Brands founders Federico Malek and Nicolas Gonzalez Luna, Merama co-founder Olivier Scialom, RioGrande co-founder Tony Mandly, 99 Minutos CEO Alexis Patjane, Justo CEO Ricardo Weder and Loft CEO Florian Hagenbuch.

York intends to use the proceeds to continue building out the Mexican and Colombian operations and gearing up to launch in Brazil. In November, the company reached its largest amount of orders per day, some 50% higher than previous months. Cubbo is also expected to double its revenue by the end of the year.

In the short period of time the company has been in business, it has grown to a team of 16 in Mexico and three in Colombia. York will also use the funding to round out the leadership team. He also plans to raise a Series A early next year as the company moves toward becoming cash flow positive by the second quarter of 2022.

“As we look into the ecosystem, we feel fortunate to have good supporters in our niche,” York said. Brands in Latin America have 20% of sales coming from direct-to-consumer, and  everyone wants to grow in the next five years, so it is important for brands to own their data and customer experience, and that is our general overarching theme.”

E-commerce tracking platform AfterShip raises $66M led by Tiger Global

AfterShip launched in 2012 to help online sellers track packages across different carriers, but since then it has built a suite of data analytics tools covering almost every step of the shopping experience, from email marketing to customer retention. The Hong Kong-headquartered startup announced today it has raised a $66 million Series B led by Tiger Global, with participation from Hillhouse Capital’s GL Ventures.

AfterShip’s last round of funding was a $1 million Series A in 2014. Co-founder Andrew Chan told TechCrunch that the company has been profitable since its launch and grew mainly through word-of-mouth referrals and partnerships, like a Shopify integration, that boosted its profile. But the company recently added a sales team and will use its latest capital on international hiring for sales and customer support. It also plans to launch new products and expand further in the United States, where about 70% of AfterShip’s customers are located.

The company’s software enables sellers to track shipments made through more than 740 carriers and handles more than 6 billion shipments each year. AfterShip’s partners with about10,000 companies, including some of the biggest names in e-commerce: Shopify (where it is used by 50,000 merchants), Magento, Squarespace, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Groupon, Rakuten, Wish and retail brands like Dyson and Inditex.

A branded shipment tracking page and email created with AfterShip's software

A branded shipment tracking page and email created with AfterShip’s software

AfterShip’s core product is its shipment tracking platform, but it also makes apps for shoppers, including self-service returns and package tracking, and sales and marketing tools for merchants that let them get more use out of data from shipments. Chan explained that package tracking is also a user engagement tool for sellers that lets them show more product recommendations and promotions to shoppers. AfterShip’s tools enables merchants to create their own branded tracking pages and notifications. Other features allow them to track the performance of different carriers, create email marketing campaigns and increase customer retention.

Its CRM capabilities help AfterShip differentiate from other shipment tracking aggregator providers.

“When we think of our vision, we look at what Salesforce is doing, but is there an e-commerce Salesforce that can cover more topics for sales people to use,” Chan said.

In press statement, Pangfei Wang, global partner at Tiger Global, said, “AfterShip leads the charge in making the shipping process more transparent and reliable for consumers and companies alike. As growth in e-commerce spirals ever upward, we are excited to partner with AfterShip and its leadership team as they continue to advance technology in this critical and expanding industry.”