$9m Raised, Shippo Helps Ship 1,000,000+ Packages Per Month Already with CEO Laura Behrens Wu

laura-behrens-wu

In Episode #439, Nathan interviews Laura Behrens Wu, the co-founder and CEO of Shippo. Listen as Laura talks about how a laundry list of shipping obstacles with her previous e-commerce store birthed the idea for Shippo.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Things About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Patrick Collison
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— “I wish”
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Trust that things will turn out right”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:45 – Nathan introduces Laura to the show
  • 02:13 – E-commerce business Laura had
    • 02:27 – Started at Shopify
    • 02:40 – Sourcing unique items from NGO
    • 03:07 – Shipping problem
  • 03:32 – Revenue with the e-commerce business
  • 03:50 – Laura was 21 when she started her business
  • 04:13 – Financing with Shippo
    • 04:17 – Shipping
  • 05:08 – Typical shipping pricing
  • 05:30 – Shippo shipping rates
    • 05:58 – Volume metric
    • 06:07 – Doing millions of packages a month
  • 06:30 – Negotiation with shipping providers
    • 06:44 – Based on projected volumes
  • 07:00 – Shippo is a pay-as-you-go; not SaaS
  • 07:20 – Sample price per package shipped
    • 07:30 – What if I’m shipping a 10 lbs. dumbbell?
    • 07:44 – “We only provide the software”
  • 08:06 – How Shippo works in an e-commerce website
    • 08:10 – Will compare different shipping providers
    • 08:30 – Not a standard shipping rate
    • 08:47 – How the shipping providers get the package from the seller
  • 09:07 – Why clients use Shippo’s service
  • 09:37 – Shipping providers are not tech company
  • 09:55 – Number of unique customers
  • 10:12 – Average shipping volume per month
  • 10:29 – Memebox
    • 11:10 – Nathan’s proposed deal for Shippo and Memebox
  • 11:54 – They raised $9M in 2014
  • 12:20 – Team size
  • 12:50 – Use of the extra money
  • 13:23 – Minimum monthly revenue
  • 13:33 – Upselling
    • 13:50 – Shipping insurance
    • 14:11 – Tracking as a product
  • 15:28 – Bigger revenue stream
  • 15:37 – $ 7 million in series A round, March 2016
  • 16:00 – How to keep the balance when you have a big account
  • 16:38 – Travel expenses last month
  • 17:25 – Will you sell the business for $ 47 million?
    • 17:45 – Ideal exit assuming there’s a good fit
  • 18:03 – Built an app on top of Shopify
  • 18:11 – Connect with Laura through her Twitter, LinkedIn and email
  • 20:00 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Keep your customers updated and excited.
  2. Spend money on the right things and appreciate what you have.
  3. Don’t get upset on your first try – everything falls into place given patience and time.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • @LauraBehrensWu – Laura’s Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn – Laura’s LinkedIn account
  • Laura@goshippo.com – Laura’s email address
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives