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Founders building a brand today are largely relying on new infrastructure to do it, though they’re still heavily reliant on legacy carriers like FedEx and DHL when it comes to international shipping. In fact, prohibitively high prices, along with not a ton of support or tools, are a few reasons why more American products aren’t shipped abroad. Many startups especially decide it’s simply not worth it.
Enter Passport, a 1.5-year-old. San Francisco-based startup that sees an opportunity to make it easier for brands to reach their far-flung customers and that has raised $3 million in seed funding toward that end. Among its backers is Resolute Ventures; Precursor Ventures; Product Hunt cofounder Ryan Hoover; Girlboss founder Sophia Amoruso; and April Underwood, the chief product officer of Slack.
Investors - Interest - Team - Starters - Cofounder
What piqued investors’ interest? The team, for starters, including cofounder and COO Aaron Schwartz, who previously founded his own e-commerce company (Modify Watches) and CEO Alex Yancher, who, among other things, cofounded a smart fridge kiosk company called Pantry that was acquired. The two have some experience in moving packages from one point to another, as well as the pain of dealing with lost and delayed packages.
The company is also “asset light,” which investors like to see. Indeed, the company is largely a customer service business focused on shipping. How it works: one of its customers — and these include Native Deodorants — will hold its inventory in a third party logistics warehouse. In Native’s case, it’s a Connecticut company called Fulfillment Works, and Fulfillment Works slaps a label on Native’s packages that have been created by Passport (it stamps out a parent tracking number of each order), then gets the packages ready for pickup.
Passport - Pickup - Native - Parcels - Freight
After that, Passport arranges for a daily pickup of all of Native’s internationally bound parcels, working through a third-party freight company like...
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