Darkstore raises $1.4 mln from PivotNorth

Darkstore said April 12 that it has raised $1.4 million in seed funding from PivotNorth. Darkstore, of San Francisco, is a third party logistics provider.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Darkstore today announced it has raised $1.4 million in seed financing from PivotNorth. The company powers fulfillment for 1-hour and same-day delivery for direct to consumer eCommerce companies. The funding will be used for launching new markets and expansion of the team. Tim Connors, general partner of PivotNorth, will be joining the company’s Board of Directors. Darkstore currently operates in San Francisco, New York and Phoenix, and today is expanding to three new markets, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. 
While all eCommerce brands want to offer 1-hour or same-day delivery to their customers, historically it has been cost prohibitive for them because their fulfillment centers are not located close to cities. Darkstore has solved this problem by turning excess capacity in buildings into local fulfillment locations for 1-hour and same-day delivery. The fulfillment locations are strategically located within cities near where people live and work, enabling fast delivery at a low price. Retailers use Darkstore to fulfill their orders for 1-hour and same-day delivery and have them delivered ultra fast to customers by last mile delivery companies like Deliv, UberRUSH and others.
“PivotNorth brings tremendous value to Darkstore,” said Lee Hnetinka, Darkstore CEO. “Tim has an impressive track record of investing early in some of the most successful technology companies. He has deep understanding of the market and shares our vision for democratizing operations and logistics so any retailer can offer the same affordable and convenient delivery options as eCommerce giants and big box stores. We’re honored to have him on our Board.”
“Darkstore is hitting the market at precisely the right time,” said Connors. “While online retailers are excellent at inciting and taking orders, their logistics capability is often limited. Darkstore is enabling a transformational supply chain solution through very compelling warehouse management technology that addresses this challenge exactly. It’s an exciting company and I’m thrilled to join the Board.”
Connors and PivotNorth led early stage investments in SupplierMarket (sold to Ariba for $1B), Guidewire Software (public with a $4B market cap), Looker, Deliv, and Sun Basket, among others.
Darkstore works with a variety of direct to consumer eCommerce companies including Tuft & Needle, Frank + Oak, Blunt, Peel, Wildfang, Nootroo, Luma and others. Premium audio brand Master & Dynamic is the latest prominent brand to select Darkstore to power its last mile delivery.
“Our brand is synonymous with superior innovation and design. It’s only natural that we offer a superior customer experience,” said Victoria Rizzo of Master & Dynamic. “With Darkstore, our customers will literally be able to listen to music with Master & Dynamic headphones within an hour of an online purchase.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Master & Dynamic,” Hnetinka adds. “We’re big fans of the brand and we share the same philosophy of offering a stellar product and customer experience.”
Darkstore previously received $270k in initial funding from the former president of Expedia and current TripAdvisor Chief Growth Officer, Gary Fritz, as well as R/GA Ventures as part of the R/GA Westfield Labs Connected Commerce Accelerator.
About Darkstore 
Darkstore is on a mission to redefine the customer experience by giving eCommerce companies and brands access to affordable, on-demand, last mile delivery including 1-hour and same-day which, until now, has been cost prohibitive. It is the only third party logistics (3PL) provider that partners with last mile delivery services like Deliv, UberRUSH and others. Customers include Tuft & Needle, Frank + Oak, Master & Dynamic, Blunt, SkiPods, Peel, Wildfang, Luma Home, Nootroo and others. Darkstore has locations in San Francisco, New York, Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Darkstore is headquartered in San Francisco and is backed by PivotNorth and R/GA Ventures. Visit www.darkstore.com for more information.
About PivotNorth Capital 
PivotNorth Capital works to be the first and most-trusted investor in world-class technologists solving problems of importance to society. The firm’s founder, Tim Connors, has had billion dollar exits as an operator and as a VC both via M&A and IPO. Pivot North is based in Menlo Park, Calif. http://www.pivotnorth.com @PivotNorth @timc