Ryde (formerly Ryders), the SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for last-mile delivery, has announced today that it has raised £2.5m to continue to expand its vision to become the world’s first fully integrated delivery management system.
“We want to unlock last-mile delivery for every business in the UK as we strongly believe hyper-localisation is the future. “
Tackling one of the largest and most exciting markets across Europe, this round of funding comes off the back of not only a great idea but the need for an efficient workforce logistics solution servicing market disruptors such as Gorillas and Ocado.
According to a recent article published by Sifted, “last-mile delivery startups in North America and Europe raised $3.1bn in funding from VCs in the last quarter alone –– and that growth shows no signs of slowing down.”
This seed round was co-led by Forward Partners (who recently announced their IPO) and Triple Point, with participation from current investors Seedcamp and Swiss Founders Fund.
Alongside the institutional investors, the company continues to build an impressive list of angels, including Michael Pennington (Gumtree), Will Neale (Fonix), Matt Robinson (Go Cardless) and Ines Ures (former Deliveroo CMO).
The founders, Tom Nimmo and Duncan Mitchell have considerable sector-specific experience. Tom grew cleaning marketplace Hassle across Europe before the team sold the company to German-based Helpling for €32 million. Duncan, on the other hand, developed TempTribe into a market leader in tech-enabled hospitality staffing.
The raise follows a pivot from their original platform – Gameplan, built to service enterprise clients in the events sector. “When Covid hit, we had to think on our feet,” commented CEO Mitchell. “100% of our customer base went into lock-down overnight, and we were under pressure to find a way forward.”
“When we explored last-mile delivery, we discovered a few interesting things. Firstly, the workforce was hugely disenfranchised. Secondly, businesses big and small could not meet consumer demand effectively, and lastly, there was no fit for purpose solution that allowed companies to truly take control of delivery management. We thought these were great problems to tackle.”
Ryde comes to market with a “rider first” philosophy putting the workforce wellbeing at the heart of all their decision making. This means rethinking everything from how gig workers receive and engage with their jobs to how the internal team supports them.
CTO Nimmo said, “We feel that at the moment, being an on-demand delivery worker sucks! Your job is essentially to sit on the street and hope for the best. Sometimes you get to work other times, you don’t. As we’ve built our rider app, we’ve focused a lot on improving this experience for them.”
Improving the experience has included better optimising their work offering so that a worker can blend scheduled and hourly shift jobs with on-demand work. As well as this, the app helps workers to map earnings and routes far more effectively than their competitors.
The company is leading an emerging trend of blending workforces. This essentially involves enabling customers to seamlessly combine internal and external delivery employees and contractors.
It is a solution whereby companies will upload and self-manage their own pool of workers whilst accessing an outsourced pool of thousands across the UK as required.
Mitchell said, “We want to unlock last-mile delivery for every business in the UK as we strongly believe hyper-localisation is the future. That means arming small retailers to compete with the Amazons through to driving efficiency in global e-commerce businesses.”
Ryde is growing rapidly and already counts Ocado, Gorillas, Dija and Slerp amongst an impressive client list.
Luke Smith, partner at Forward, comments “Last-mile delivery is increasingly important for retailers and Ryde can enable seamless delivery for any business whilst improving the experience for gig workers. We’re very excited to be backing them on their journey to become a key part of the e-commerce infrastructure.”
Daniel Cardenas-Clark, an investor at Triple Point, comments: “We have been immensely impressed with what Duncan and Tom have achieved to date and couldn’t be more excited to be supporting them on their mission to win the blended service category. The ‘rider first’ philosophy positions Ryde on the right side of history as far as treating gig workers is concerned and is a much-needed change of direction in the industry.”