Convelio, which automates shipping processes for luxury goods, raises $35M

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The epidemic threw supply chains in a state of chaos – and continued to throw. According to the 2021 Statista Survey, 50% of shippers say they are struggling to reduce transportation costs, a challenge that will only increase as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affects global fuel prices. Other barriers to success in logistics and shipping include customer demand fluctuations, inventory management, talent search and technology, as well as sourcing, manufacturing, analytics and data management. Last year, Deloitte found that more than 40% of companies saw their costs increase by 5% or more as a result of ongoing supply chain problems.

All kinds of goods are affected by current logistics blockers, including fine art, jewelry and antiques. In search of a tech solution to the problems, entrepreneurs Clement Ozil and Edward Goin started Convellio four years ago, a company that uses algorithms to offer instant quotes to high-end sellers on shipping. Excited by the market epidemic, Convalio recently closed an investment round of $ 35 million, raising its total capital to $ 45 million, the company announced this morning.

Automated shipping

The idea of ​​implementing automation in shipping is hardly new. LoadSmart, Flock Freight and their rivals use AI to match shippers to truck transportation, while companies like Cargo. Find air routes for cargo in an algorithmic way. But Convellio, in particular, focuses on luxury items, which can be more expensive to ship traditionally due to the fragility of the packaged products.

While working as a logistics lead at the Berlin-based antique furniture retailer Pemono, Ozil introduced the idea for Convelio with Goin. Gwynn is a serial angel investor who has endorsed income-pooling startup Pando and no-code payments framework provider Primer among other companies.

“My co-founder, Clement Ozil, and I started our career working for Adrian Frenzel, COO of Rocket Internet, who is now the Global COO of Gorilla. During our time working for Rocket’s portfolio companies, we developed a keen understanding of startup operations and continued to build ecommerce companies in the fine art space for personal gain, “Goin told VentureBeat via email. “We quickly realized that, unlike more classical ecommerce spaces, there is a key part missing in successfully transitioning to fine art online: efficient, and integrated, shipping.”

Convellio, which delivers to more than 80 destinations, takes into account parameters, including fragility, dimensions and value, to create a logistics chain for artwork and other luxury products, such as sculptures and furniture. For customers such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and 3,000 other auction houses, galleries and collectors, Convalio automates customs, insurance, real-time tracking and delivery processes.

Pieces shipped by Paris-based Convellio typically range from € 5,000 ($ 5,565) to € 1 million ($ 1.11 million), according to Ozil.

“We’ve developed an instant pricing algorithm internally that evaluates multiple data points instantly across the entire logistics chain,” Goin explained. “Convelio’s technology enables platforms to enhance the customer experience on their website by implementing our API or widget, but can also be used to automate internal workflows such as shipment collection, invoicing and billing or inventory management … for the partner, Depends. On our core technologies… that is, it can streamline operations and support both buyers and sellers with after-sales administration. ”

In addition to automating quotes and workflows, Convalio helps manage documents and customize various shipping services. Its network extends to 19 “crafting centers”, Ozil says, which is responsible for ensuring that goods are not damaged during shipping.

Significant growth

The epidemic has hit the luxury goods market, with the world’s top 100 luxury goods companies generating $ 252 billion in revenue in 2020 compared to $ 281 billion in 2019. According to Deloitte, 80% of companies in the top 100 report low. 2020 reflects sales, epidemic-related store closures, travel bans, changes in consumer demand, supply chain disruptions and other factors.

But while that may well be seen as good news for the 200-employee convoy, there are signs of recovery. A report by Bain & Co. found that in 2021, luxury products in general were the first to recover to their 2019 level, driven by epidemic controls and lockdown-inspired home upgrades and mixed living and working spaces.

Convellio employees pose for a photo.

Consistent with the rebound, venture capital (VC) companies are investing in the broader shipping logistics space as potential solutions to prioritize supply chain efficiency. According to Pitchbook, VC has pledged $ 12.6 billion in 2020 for supply chain technology startups in North America and Europe alone through more than 500 deals. Grand View Research predicts that the global transport management systems market will reach $ 27.48 billion by 2028.

Convelio claims it was responsible for 14,000 shipments last year with a cumulative value of $ 265 million. The company’s annual recurring revenue has increased 2.5 times while the number of employees has increased to 200 people.

Convellio says it plans to explore other market segments where “[its] Skills can be taken advantage of in shipping bulk, valuable and delicate items.

“Since its launch in 2017, we have seen an average compound annual growth rate of 98% in revenue, and in 2021 alone, revenue has increased 2.5-fold,” Goin said. “Most of the revenue in the fine-art shipping market, the $ 4 billion opportunity, sits with traditional, low-tech incumbents and this is what we are moving forward as a start. Our competitive edge has always been on taking advantage of technology to create the best experience for our customers. We have more than just the beginning, so we will continue to work on shipping more and more quickly, keeping our heads down to deliver the ultimate fine-art shipping experience. “

Forrest and Mundi Ventures co-led Convellio’s latest round with the participation of Acton Capital and Global Founders Capital.

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