Crowdsourced on-demand delivery company Roadie Inc. raised $37 million in new funding today from investors that include home-improvement giant Home Depot Inc.
With the addition of this Series C funding round, Roadie has raised $62 million from investors since it launched in 2015. In addition to Home Depot, investors include Warren Stephens, CEO of financial services firm Stephens Inc., and TomorrowVentures, a venture capital firm led by Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google and Alphabet Inc.
The company will use the new funding to continue improving its routing and pricing models and expand its use of machine learning to predict capacity and match deliveries to its drivers based on real-time supply and demand, Roadie CEO Marc Gorlin says. That will likely include hiring data science, programming and customer service employees, he says, declining to reveal more specifics.
Roadie is a crowdsourced, “on-the-way” delivery service that pairs retailers in real time with consumers, truckers and others to make deliveries using spare capacity in their vehicles. That can include local and long-distance deliveries made by drivers already traveling to a point near where the shipment is needed.
“Any vehicle on the road can be a Roadie,” Gorlin says. Roadie’s network now includes 120,000 drivers that have delivered packages to more than 11,000 cities and towns nationwide, according to the company.
Gorlin says the participation of Home Depot (No. 7 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500), was a natural outgrowth of the relationship the two companies have built since the companies started doing business together more than a year ago.
Last fall, Home Depot began working with with Roadie and same-day delivery company Deliv Inc. to expand its delivery capacity in 35 markets to include same-day deliveries of online orders placed before noon for about 20,000 products. The service starts at $8.99. In a Nov. 13 third-quarter conference call with analysts, Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said that service was available to more than 40% of the U.S. population, and the goal is to extend same-day and next-day delivery to 90% of the U.S. population by 2020.
On-demand delivery services like Roadie have caught the attention of investors lately:
- Last week, DoorDash, which provides on-demand restaurant food delivery services, raised $400 million in Series F financing at a $7.1 billion valuation. The funding round was co-led by Temasek and Dragoneer Investment Group, with participation from existing investors Softbank Vision Fund, DST Global, Coatue Management, GIC, Sequoia Capital and Y Combinator.
- In October, grocery delivery company Instacart raised $600 million as part of a financing round led by D1 Capital Partners. The funding round valued Instacart at $7.6 billion.
- Also in October, Deliv received $40 million in a Series C funding round from investors, including Google, Clayton Venture Partners and the venture capital arm of Enterprise Holdings, bringing its total funding to $80.4 million.