By Erica E. Phillips
Crowdsourced delivery company Roadie Inc. has raised $37 million in new funding that includes investment from Home Depot Inc., boosting dollars available for marketing efforts with big retailers and for building out its technology.
The Atlanta-based startup has been providing same-day delivery services through its “on-the-way” model, which uses an app to tap into drivers already on the road. Roadie delivers orders for retailers such as Home Depot and Walmart Inc., shuttles delayed luggage to Delta Air Lines Inc. travelers and handles personal deliveries for everyday users of its app.
Home Depot joined Warren Stephens of Stephens Inc. and Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures in the Series C funding round, which brings Roadie’s total raised to $62 million, the company said in a statement. The round values the company at less than $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
A spokesman for Home Depot wouldn’t disclose the value of the retailer’s investment in Roadie.
The backing announced Monday is the latest in a spate of new funding this year for technology-driven logistics and delivery startups. Silicon Valley shipping broker Flexport Inc. last week disclosed a $1 billion funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp. ’s Vision Fund, and freight-tracking software startup FourKites Inc. disclosed $50 million in new funding earlier this month.
Roadie is one among the many shipping companies from startups to top parcel carriers that are vying to help retailers compete with the two-day shipping promise of Amazon.com Inc. ’s Prime service. Demand for fulfillment services, especially same-day and overnight on-demand service, has ballooned as small and large retailers race to offer faster, cheaper delivery to keep up with Amazon.
Roadie Chief Executive Marc Gorlin said the startup’s use of passenger vehicles that are already on the road is the company’s “secret sauce,” allowing it to provide same-day delivery service for big retailers, even to customers in rural areas. “People are going everywhere all the time,” Mr. Gorlin said. “So we can say, ‘Hey, do you want to make $20 for going somewhere you were already going?’”
Roadie, which launched in 2014, said it has more than 120,000 drivers across all 50 U.S. states using its app, and it can deliver same day to 89% of U.S. households.
“When we have drivers in Atlanta and Charlotte, it’s not like two disjointed courier companies—you have a community between there,” Mr. Gorlin said. “All of a sudden, you become deliverable in Greenville and Spartanburg.”