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Logistics Startup Darkstore Scores $1.4M Seed

A young logistics startup that gives eCommerce brands same-day delivery capabilities just scored a major chunk of venture funding.

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. Just recently, the company scored $1.4 million in a seed funding round led by VC firm PivotNorth Capital.

The way Darkstore’s service works is 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 same-day. The startup reportedly charges brands 3 percent per item that leaves a Darkstore storage space, up to a maximum of $20.

On the delivery end, Darkstore has partnered with a spread of startups and local and national courier and major shipping companies to then ship out same-day.

Darkstore has grown its order volume 120 percent month-over-month, founder Lee Hnetinka told TechCrunch. As of December, the startup has enabled shipments of $1.7 million worth of goods, with $900,000 of that coming from shipments in November and December alone.

With the latest seed funding round, Darkstore has reportedly set a new goal to hit $110 million in product fulfillment and is expanding into three new markets: Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. Darkstore already operates in San Francisco, Phoenix and New York City.

Hnetinka is also the founder of the less-successful startup WunWun, a former on-demand delivery service that sold in a fire sale in back in 2015.



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