We put together a list of the top YC companies by valuation as of October 2018. You can see that list at https://ycombinator.com/topcompanies.
Here’s a Q&A with Divey Gulati & Dhruv Saxena, Cofounders of Shipbob, one of the companies featured on the list.
What does ShipBob make/do?
ShipBob is on a mission to make ecommerce companies more successful by bringing same-, next-, and 2-day shipping to ecommerce brands of all sizes through its technology platform and distributed fulfillment centers.
How many employees does ShipBob have?
ShipBob has over 400 employees, up from 60 last year.
How many founders?
2: Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati
What is your most impressive recent product milestone?
In partnership with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, we are providing some of the fastest growing ecommerce brands the ability to provide their customers with same-day shipping in select urban regions on top of their next-day and 2-day shipping. This has allowed ShipBob to ship millions of packages in 2018.
What is the larger impact / societal impact of your product in the space you work within?
Over 50% of US GDP is generated through small businesses. ShipBob is helping these businesses thrive by giving them the tools to be successful, including the logistical, technological, and analytical capabilities similar to the big box retailers.
What’s an interesting element of ShipBob’s company culture?
Since ShipBob has both traditional offices (full of engineers, sales people, and marketers) and fulfillment centers, the culture of the company is built on humility and creative problem solving. Every employee (from the CFO to an analyst) has to spend a week in a Fulfillment Center to learn the core business and help during the holiday rush!
Looking back, what motivated you to start ShipBob?
Running our own ecommerce store, we realized how hard shipping and logistics was. Our initial company, SnailMailPics was growing and with every new customer, we were spending more time packaging items and shipping at post office. We knew all the small businesses out there were facing the same problem and nobody was solving this growing pain point for them, so we decided to start ShipBob to help ecommerce businesses be successful and provide them with best-in-class logistics.
Is what you’re working on now the original idea or did you pivot?
Our mission of helping ecommerce businesses be successful hasn’t changed from Day 1, but the solution has definitely evolved. We started with picking up inventory on a daily basis from the merchants, but then our customers gave us feedback to store inventory as it would be easier for both them and us. By always focusing on customer feedback and market trends, we continue to evolve. Similarly with the technology platform, it has been a continuously iterative process and now we are providing a mini-ERP to merchants to run their business.
Were there moments where you thought the company might die? Describe one of those and anything you learned from it.
During late 2015 and early 2016, there were some industry trends that made it harder to raise money. We were burning a lot less money, but we were at risk of ceasing operations. We learned at that point that we have to be resilient and creative problem solvers. And we survived, while growing at a steady pace and became profitable!
What was a particularly important insight you had about your market that made your product work?
Even with the impressive growth of Amazon and the recent growth of Walmart, small and mid-sized ecommerce businesses continue to thrive, yet must evolve technologically at the same pace, or even faster, as the ecommerce market leaders.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with a young founder?
Everything comes down to resilience and creative problem solving. When we launched, out of 1800 signups, we got 0 orders, but we didn’t give up and stood outside our local post office to hit our growth metrics. Never give up.