Philippines shipping platform Shipmates raises $2.2m seed funding

Shipmates CEO Josh Supan and CTO David Marquez.

Shipmates, a Y Combinator-backed shipping platform based in the Philippines, has raised $2.2 million in its seed funding round, which was participated by Singapore- and Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners.

US venture capital firms Cathexis Ventures, and Taurus Ventures as well as Southeast Asia-focused seed investor Sketchnote Partners also backed the funding round for the one-year-old startup that earlier raised $500,000 from Y Combinator.

Shipmates was started by co-founders Josh Supan and David Marquez in July 2021 with the aim of helping e-commerce businesses and online small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines with their shipping needs. The country currently has 15 million small businesses online.

The startup is a courier aggregator that connects online channels, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and Social Stores, to both standard and on-demand couriers. The platform also allows online business owners to compare rates between different couriers.

“When talking to online sellers, their biggest pain point has always been how manual shipping still is in our country. We built Shipmates to automate this. We built Shipmates for them,” Supan, the co-founder and CEO of Shipmates, said.

With the fresh funding, the company plans to scale its platform to target all merchants, both online and offline, in the Philippines.

Shipmates got accepted in Southeast Asia’s startup accelerator Iterative in 2021 and later raised $500,000 from Y Combinator. It is the eighth startup from the Philippines to be accepted in the Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator, joining the likes of payments startup Paymongo, software firm Kalibrr, digital financial solutions platform NextPay, and food delivery startup MadEats.

The funding comes even as startups in the country face uncertainty about raising their next round. Juancho Jimenez, an associate at Openspace Ventures, said the correction last year has seen startups shifting focus from how fast they can grow to making their businesses sustainable.

Last month, edamama, a Philippine-based e-commerce platform for parents, raised $20 million in a Series A funding round anchored by Jakarta-based venture capital investor Alpha JWC Ventures.

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