Grip, a smart logistics engine that reduces failed deliveries and shipping costs, and increases customer lifetime value for perishable eCommerce companies, emerged from stealth mode today and announced a $2 million pre-seed round backed by Soma Capital, Western Technology Investment (WTI), and top industry players with 100+ years of industry experience. Grip will use the capital from this round to continue to pioneer the direct-to-consumer perishable supply chain and innovate in the space with advanced data processing and machine learning.
Grip functions as a tech platform that sits on top of customer’s order management systems to automate every perishable eCommerce shipment’s carrier, service, refrigerant quantity, packaging, and shipping facility selection based on real-time network conditions such as temperature through the journey, carrier on-time delivery, and box performance. Grip also monitors and identifies major weather events that impact orders before they ship, so shippers can leverage that data to proactively hold orders or reach out to customers about potential delays. Businesses receive additional value from reporting on-time delivery, transit time, failure rates, and customer feedback to identify areas for improvement. By decreasing product and transportation waste, Grip enables their customers to reduce their environmental footprint.
Grip sits at the center of a market in the middle of exponential growth. According to Statista Research, revenue from the eCommerce food and beverage industry in the United States stood at U.S. $34.2 billion in 2021 and accounting for about 13% of total retail eCommerce sales in the U.S.. The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates further that by 2025 this figure will increase to U.S. $47.6 billion, a 39% CAGR and reach 21% of total eCommerce retail sales. Shipping problems and delays currently account for 30% of online shopping drawbacks and results in high customer churn. Research also shows that a positive doorstep delivery experience is key to customer loyalty. Grip’s solution is focused on remedying the broken information loop between carrier performance, damaged shipments, and logistics decision making.
The idea for Grip came to Founder Juan C. Meisel after his tenure as Head of Logistics at ButcherBox as he attempted to solve the challenge of adjusting shipping strategies dynamically as network conditions were ever-changing. Like many great entrepreneurs, Meisel found himself in a closet-sized space in Harvard Square as one of the first five team members at ButcherBox after reaching out to eCommerce pioneer and ButcherBox CEO and Founder Mike Salguero for advice and mentorship. He was responsible for setting up ButcherBox’s logistics strategy and building out their logistics network from the ground up, helping to scale ButcherBox profitably from $0 to $550 million in revenue yearly without any traditional financing or outside investments. Jimmy Cooper, former Head of Data at ButcherBox recently joined Grip as co-founder and CTO, bringing nearly a decade of experience in the sophisticated data technology industry.
“There was a clear gap in the market for software that could handle the ever-changing shipping conditions that perishable eCommerce brands experience,” says Juan C. Meisel, Grip Founder. “We built Grip to help brands focus on perfecting their actual product(s) and take the headache out of the shipping aspect. They shouldn’t need to rely on static shipping logic or try to build their own logistics software to grow or be more efficient. They need a data-backed turnkey solution that they can reliably plug in with a seamless integration that will start working right away with their current systems, not after months or years of development.”
With an emphasis on perishable eCommerce, Grip is positioned to benefit businesses in the meal kit, online grocery, pet food, flower, specialty foods (frozen pizza, seafood, pastries, ice cream etc.), winery, and pharmaceutical space. After only a few months into launching, Grip has processed hundreds of thousands of shipments and customers have seen a 25% reduction in failure rates and 30% reduction in shipping costs. Grip’s onboarding takes only a matter of hours so customers can begin shipping more efficiently almost immediately.