AxleHire, a last-mile logistics startup that facilitates deliveries for companies like HelloFresh, Freshly, Sun Basket, La Boulangerie and others, has raised $4.3 million from Acorn Pacific, RGA Ventures and others.
AxleHire, which started back in 2015, is doing more than 150,000 shipments per month and bringing in $750,000 in monthly revenues. By April, AxleHire expects to hit $1.5 million in revenues, AxleHire co-founder and CEO Daniel Sokolovsky told me via email.
AxleHire currently operates in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s gearing up to launch in new markets within the first quarter of 2018 and more in the second half of next year, Sokolovsky said. The markets AxleHire has its eyes on include Portland, Seattle, Denver, Las Vegas, Reno, Boise and Phoenix. While AxleHire works with larger companies shipping more than 10,000 items a month, AxleHire also works with smaller companies.
“More and more, we have seen retailers and CPG companies reach out about doing direct-to-consumer shipping because we’ve been very successful with it,” Sokolovsky said. “We have recently (last week) started delivering products to Trader Joe’s, as well.”
In the case of HelloFresh, AxleHire’s subcontracted carriers pick up the packages on a big rig truck and then take them to the AxleHire facility. Then, AxleHire sorts them before the drivers come to pick them up for delivery.
“The main difference between these (sorting facilities) and warehouses is that they are meant to hold inventory for less than 24 hours,” Sokolovsky said. “Most of our inventory is out in 12.”
Competitors in this space include OnTrac, GSO and delivery giants FedEx and UPS. In the last few months, AxleHire has been piloting with a robot delivery company.
“We have successfully integrated a method to use any type of delivery robot within our system,” Sokolovsky said. “We are also launching our own delivery locker system to combat Amazon’s, for use by any carrier and by any business.”