Logistics startup Flexe closes $119M funding round at $1B+ valuation

Flexe Inc., a Seattle-based startup helping retailers optimize their supply chains, has secured $119 million in fresh funding at a valuation exceeding $1 billion.

Flex announced the funding round this morning. The round included contributions from new investor BlackRock as well as an array of returning backers. Activate Capital, Madrona Ventures, Prologis Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, T. Rowe Price and Tiger Global were among the participants.

The merchandise that a retailer purchases from its suppliers often isn’t shipped directly to stores, but is first sent to a fulfillment center for processing. Such facilities are also used extensively in the e-commerce segment. The number of fulfillment centers that a retailer maintains directly influences its ability to meet customer demand.

Flexe provides a software platform through which retailers can access warehouse capacity at more than 1,500 supply chain facilities. Using the startup’s platform, a retailer can quickly add warehouse capacity to its logistics network when customer demand increases. According to Flexe, its approach is simpler than traditional methods of expanding supply chains.

Meeting increased customer demand isn’t the only task that Flexe promises to simplify. According to the startup, its platform is also useful in cases when some of a retailer’s warehouses temporarily cannot process packages because of a facility upgrade or routine maintenance. In such a situation, a retailer can supplement its warehouse capacity using Flexe’s platform.

Yet another use case that the startup targets is helping companies speed up package deliveries. A retailer could leverage Flexe to find a warehouse that’s closer to its stores and use it to reduce shipping times.

Alongside warehouse capacity, Flexe offers access to package processing and transportation services. The startup’s platform also includes a centralized interface for managing key supply chain tasks. A retailer’s supply chain team can use the platform to track merchandise shipments, process product returns and find opportunities to increase operational efficiency.

Flexe’s approach is gaining significant market traction. The startup claims that its customer base includes six of the 10 largest retailers in the US, as well as five of the largest consumer packaged goods companies. Flexe told GeekWire that its revenue had doubled over the past year but did not disclose absolute numbers.

“Flexe uniquely helps enterprise retailers and brands solve big supply chain challenges and excel in uncertain environments,” said BlackRock Private Equity Partners director Samir Menon. “Flexe has demonstrated that programmatic logistics delivers value for the world’s most demanding companies.”

Flexe reportedly plans to use its new funding to “make investments in scalable growth” and hire more employees.

Image: Flexe

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