There are tens of thousands of small- and mid-sized webshops in Europe, run by independent small business owners. Each of these SME’s is competing with the giants of eCommerce, not only on their product offering and pricing but also in terms of the convenience of delivery options they offer. That is where SendCloud steps in. They have built a software platform that enables even the smallest of webshops to compete with the biggest eCommerce players. Using SendCloud, small webshops can compete with eCommerce giants on shipping options offered to their customers (e.g. from 7 days to same day delivery using the carrier of the end customers choice) and benefit from discounted shipping rates, tapping into SendCloud’s purchasing power with carriers. Additionally, SendCloud allows its customers to run an efficient, digitized delivery process on which webshops can save time and enhance customer satisfaction.
We invested in SendCloud when they were quickly on the rise as the up and coming eCommerce shipping software player in the Benelux. By now, they have also obtained a strong market position in the DACH region as well as France. The company’s founders were only 21 when we first met them. However, they did not only surprise us with their great execution over the years, but it became clear to us that even at a very young age – as they shared war stories about their ventures prior to SendCloud – they had already displayed a clear propensity towards successful entrepreneurship. (We were not least impressed with their reseller activities for the local cafeteria on vacation when they were twelve.) This consistent hunger, visible throughout someone’s life, is a very important driver of conviction for henQ.
In addition to its strong execution skills, SendCloud’s market was highly appealing to us. Not only because of the vast amount of webshops, but also in terms of the potential competitive advantage that a player with European wide coverage can obtain. Moreover, shipping software is one of the key pieces of software for any webshop and a critical part of their primary process but largely overlooked by most software suppliers. As such, we saw a clear path towards building a European leader with a significant competitive edge.
The henQ investment team and SendCloud’s founders had been in touch throughout the company’s pre-seed and seed rounds. So by the time henQ invested in SendCloud’s late seed round, both sides of the table had a very good understanding of each other. SendCloud particularly liked the fit between henQ’s and their own company culture, which allowed them to continue to work in the way that suits them best. Moreover, in addition to sharing the B2B SaaS lessons we learned throughout our 15-year existence, we try to help SendCloud in selecting the right senior people for their management team and run an effective board cycle.