Atlanta’s Roadie, the on-demand, crowdsourced delivery startup, has announced a $37 million Series C, bringing their total funding raised to $62 million. The oversubscribed round included investments from The Home Depot, billionaire Warren Stephens and TomorrowVentures, the VC firm founded by Google’s Eric Schmidt.
Roadie is based on a simple concept — every day, people travel across the country with unused space in their vehicles, while others need to send objects on those same routes. Their machine learning platform, accessible for senders and deliverers via mobile app, optimizes routes and allows for crowdsourced direct delivery based on trips that are already happening.
Through the Roadie app, individuals can send furniture, appliances, even pets. And by establishing recent partnerships with The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, and Walmart, Roadie is enabling enterprises to take advantage of its delivery technology as well.
This is a critical piece for today’s retailers, all of whom are competing with the same-day delivery network of Amazon. In fact, Roadie says that its network of 120,000 drivers has a larger footprint nationwide than Amazon Prime — reaching 89 percent of U.S. households.
Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of the four-year-old company, says the capital will be put to work improving their delivery routing technology to reach even further into remote areas.
“We want to grow our delivery footprint and our ability to dynamically match untapped capacity to delivery demand in real time,” Gorlin tells Hypepotamus. “The technology implications mean an even bigger focus on leveraging data science insights and improving our app and web platforms to operationally support a growing and dynamic driver base.”
“Our model is a game-changer for retailers, wholesalers and consumers who want same-day delivery of any item, of any size, to any zip code, at any time,” he says.
For example, Roadie has been working with The Home Depot for over a year to help the home improvement giant reach its customers in smaller cities and towns more quickly. Mark Holifield, The Home Depot’s EVP of Supply Chain, says they are committed to bring same-day or next-day delivery service to 90 percent of their U.S. customers.
“You want to find people who care about the problem you’re trying to solve,” says Gorlin about The Home Depot. “The Home Depot understands that building the Roadie community helps them create a community of their own — shoppers, employees, local drivers — to bring value to their customers, help them expand their footprint, and reward that community in a new way.”
The startup currently employs just over 60 in their Atlanta headquarters, and is hiring across engineering, data science, sales and operations. Gorlin says they’re committed to Atlanta, a city long recognized for its strength as a supply chain and logistics hub.
“The city has grown into a hub of industries as varied as logistics, financial services and cybersecurity with world-class talent coming out of state schools and more smart capital setting up shop here every day,” he says.
“We want all that goodness and smartness on our team, and we think it’s pretty cool to see it coming out of our hometown.”