Logistics company GetSwift raises $24 million to explore new verticals

- June 23, 2017 2 MIN READ

Melbourne logistics company GetSwift, which raised $5 million through an ASX listing last December, has raised $24 million from a collection of US-based and local investors, including IFM Investors, Thorney Investment Group, and Regal Funds.

The funding will be put towards further expanding the business globally and supporting larger-scale deployments, with GetSwift to create ‘parachute’ teams overseas to support new clients.

Chairman Bane Hunter said the decision to raise was made to ensure – and demonstrate to potential clients – that the company could fulfil the increase in demand it has seen since the listing.

“We were in discussions with large multinationals and their communication to us was, we love your product and your team, but how are you going to be able to fulfil the demand we have in terms of deployment capability and support across not just the domestic market in the US or Europe, but also do it in 180 days, with $5 million?” he said.

According to Hunter, the company originally sought to raise around $20 million, identifying investors who could bring networks and partnerships to further GetSwift’s growth.

“Especially in the US, there are synergies, and there’s a booster effect those investors are going to bring to GetSwift as a result of their other investments or the direct partnerships they already have with large multinationals,” he said.

The company also chose to raise to fend off rumours of an acquisition, with Hunter saying GetSwift wanted to ensure it wasn’t being put into a position where an acquisition was “being forced down our throats”.

Asked if an acquisition was something GetSwift was open to, Hunter said, “We’ll do what’s in the best interests in our shareholders…from where we are today, we believe it’s something that’s premature and it’s not something we would advise our shareholders to consider.”

As well as expanding further in its existing markets and sectors, the funding will also go towards expansion into new verticals, including defence, manufacturing, and healthcare.

Having spun out of founder Joel McDonald’s previous startup, alcohol delivery service Liquorun, GetSwift has played largely in the food and beverage sector; it’s working with businesses in over 475 global cities, among them US grocery delivery startup Instacart, and Australian fast food company QSRH, which owns chains including Red Rooster and Oporto.

It also signed a multi-year partnership with Commonwealth Bank in April that will see its software integrated into the bank’s Albert POS system. The deal will allow any vendor using the point-of-sale system to essentially become a delivery-ready store, with GetSwift automatically queueing, batching, routing, and dispatching the delivery of any products purchased through an Albert POS.

Despite the global opportunities, with Hunter saying GetSwift had seen enough interest to complete the raise in the US, he said said the company made the decision to bring in Australian investors to provide a “leg up” to the ecosystem where it was born. The company shifted its headquarters to Melbourne in November after several years in New York.

“There’s a lot of commentary out there around whether Australian institutions and investors are giving enough support, and I have to say this point-blank: bullshit,” Hunter said.

“There are some incredible support mechanisms here and incredible investors who will provide support if you can provide them with the data, and can back up what you’re saying with your ability to execute.”

Image: Bane Hunter and Joel McDonald. Source: Supplied.