Co-warehousing startup Saltbox has closed on about $3 million in seed funding led by Village Global, the early-stage venture fund backed by tech entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Reid Hoffman, Marissa Mayer, and Mark Zuckerberg.
MetaProp, Arena Ventures, Kapor Capital, and additional angel investors also back the startup as it prepares to open its first location in Atlanta.
“This really goes back to my decision to leave the Valley a few years back,” shares co-founder and CEO Tyler Scriven, who was an early employee at secretive Silicon Valley data company Palantir before moving to Atlanta to become a Managing Director at the Techstars Atlanta accelerator program for two years.
“I came to the conclusion that there were much more interesting problems outside the Valley and I wanted to work on solving those,” Scriven says.
Saltbox caters to what the founding team calls the “concrete class” — e-commerce, retail, and manufacturing businesses. As the owner of a traditional mid-sized commerce business, Scriven is part of this group himself.
“Because these entrepreneurs don’t need tens of thousands of square footage, they find themselves facing a constant and frustrating tradeoff,” says Scriven.
The Saltbox space combines co-working with co-warehousing. Its flexible short-term lease terms allow entrepreneurs to pay on a month-to-month basis.
Once a member, Saltbox provides the traditional benefits that co-working members have come to expect: a community space, wi-fi, amenities, office supplies, quiet booths and conference rooms.
But unlike WeWork and the like, Saltbox also has private “warehouse suites”, loading dock access, a self-service packing center, warehouse equipment for use, a photography stage, and more, all specifically geared toward e-commerce and retail entrepreneurs.
Scriven says that members could range from a small-scale maker who sells good on Etsy up to a mid-sized retail business.
Saltbox’s first location, a 27,000 sq. ft space opening this fall in Atlanta’s Upper Westside, hosts 48 private office suites of up to 5,000 square feet. Private offices start at 1-3 person spaces.
Scriven tells Hypepotamus that they have already signed leases for their first founding members.
The company plans to expand quickly, aiming to open two additional locations in the next 12-18 months. In addition to Scriven, the team includes Che Sharma, a data scientist with experience in the logistics industry; Paul D’Arrigo, a former co-founder of a successful e-commerce technology company; and customer experience veteran Maxwell Bonnie.
Saltbox is currently hosting tours for interested companies.
Photos provided by Saltbox