DELIVERY SERVICE STARTUP WeBringg has bagged €650,000 in funding from private investors to help it deal with a spike in growth in the UK.
The Dublin-based firm, which was founded in 2015, provides same-day delivery services to online retailers and restaurants.
WeBringg’s service, which was launched in mid-2016, now provides delivery services for takeaway ordering system JustEat and a handful of retailers across Dublin, Cork and Galway. Limerick will be added in the coming months.
The firm also has operations in the UK in Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff, with an expansion into Australia and New Zealand planned for this year.
Speaking to Fora, WeBringg co-founder and chief executive Sean Murray said the company has just raised a round of investment worth €650,000 due to “an immediate need for funding”.
“The UK has probably gone a little bit quicker than we expected. to be honest. It raises headaches obviously – the workload increases before the headcount increases, but you just get on with it,” said Murray.
According to Murray, six private investors committed funds to the round, including John Purdy, the co-founder and head of Ergo, one of Ireland’s biggest indigenous IT firms.
Despite the injection of cash, Murray said WeBringg will need to source another round of investment soon.
“We’re looking at a raise in excess of €5 million. We’re three months into that process, and I would imagine it would be done and dusted by November time.
“We have enough (funds) to cover us for another few months but we potentially have some really big clients coming on board this year.
“If, for argument’s sake, they give us a contract for London and Birmingham and they need an extra 3,000 guys on the road, well then we’ll have an immediate need for a lot more cash.”
WeBringg currently has about 3,000 drivers on its system spread across the Irish, UK, Australian and New Zealand markets.
Murray said the firm needs to increase Irish driver numbers by nearly a third this year and boost numbers in the UK by 65% to keep up with demand.
These drivers are not directly employed by the firm. They connect to WeBringg’s platform to select delivery jobs available and take a cut of the delivery fee paid to the startup.
WeBringg has a staff of 22 based in its offices in Chapelizod. Murray said the firm has planned to increase its headcount to 35 by the end of this year.
How it works
In recent years, same-day delivery has become a key selling point for e-commerce behemoth Amazon, which has used its flagship Amazon Prime service to tighten its grip on the online retail market.
However, WeBringg has tried to get a jump on the tech giant in Ireland, where Amazon is yet to roll out the same-day service.
WeBringg’s system can be integrated into any e-commerce website, and its fleet of drivers, who take a commission from deliveries, transport the goods ordered online.
Murray said the startup, which has a partnership with JustEat, gets a lot of its business from food delivery. However, he added that other aspects of the business are growing fast.
“We’re now at a stage where we are breaking it down into various verticals. Our website will be updated soon enough to have a page on each vertical – takeaway, pharmacy, grocery, fashion and electronics.
“We do see a lot of business from takeaway, but the retail side of things is catching up now and pharmacy in particular is starting to take off.”