Investments

Darkstore eCommerce Fulfillment Firm Raises $21M

Commerce fulfillment Darkstore raises $21 million

Darkstore announced that it has raised a $21 million Series B round led by EQT Ventures.

This latest round brings Darkstore's total raise to more than $30 million. It plans to use this new funding to expands its general team, as well as the management team.

Founded in May of 2016, San Francisco-based Darkstore offers a platform that enables on-demand, same-day and 2-day delivery options for eCommerce sites. Darkstore currently has more than 600 fulfillment centers across 39 cities in the U.S., including Honolulu, Toledo, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska.

The service works by leveraging excess space in storage facilities, convenience stores or malls, allowing them to act as fulfillment centers via smartphone. Brands without local inventory can use Darkstore’s storage space to ship the same-day.

“Uber is the largest transportation company that doesn’t own a car; Airbnb is the largest hospitality business that doesn’t own a hotel,” Darkstore’s Founder and CEO Lee Hnetinka said in an interview with PYMNTs in 2017. “We’re not going to take on real estate leases, and we’re not going to run these warehouses ourselves, so we want to be the largest fulfillment company that doesn’t own a fulfillment center.”

As part of the deal, EQT principal Laura Yao is joining Darkstore’s board of directors.

“Consumer expectations are relentless,” Yao told TechCrunch via email. “We want things now, now, now. Obviously, it’s in a brand’s best interest to be able to meet those demands. The amazing team at Darkstore has built a platform-agnostic, cost-effective way for brands to do so, and in the process has unlocked a new revenue stream for urban infrastructure, and created valuable partnerships with last-mile delivery services.”

While Darkstore cannot share its full roster of customers, it has worked with Nike, headphones maker Master & Dynamic, mattress startup Tuft & Needle and others.

Yao added, “We’ve worked with Lee and the team for over a year and have been able to see this Darkstore flywheel come to life, and are excited to see what the future holds.”

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