Tech: The startup that wanted to kill the post office is shutting down after raising $62 million

Tech: The startup that wanted to kill the post office is shutting down after raising $62 million
Tech: The startup that wanted to kill the post office is shutting down after raising $62 million

kevin gibbon, shyp

CEO Kevin Gibbon personally apologized in a blog post, expressing regret for embracing a “growth at all costs” strategy.

  • Shyp, a startup that let users ship packages with a few taps on a smartphone, has shut down.
  • CEO Kevin Gibbon personally apologized in a blog post, expressing regret for embracing a “growth at all costs” strategy.
  • The company raised $62 million, including a series B round led by John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins.

Shyp, an on-demand shipping startup once compared to Uber, has shut down after five years in business and $62 million in venture funding. The news was announced via Twitter, as well as an e-mail sent to customers.

Shyp allowed users to ship anything with a few taps on a smartphone, bringing a courier to your location to pick up and package the items. It was pitched as a more user-friendly alternative to the post office. In total, Shyp raised $62 million, including a $50 million series B round led by legendary investor John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins.

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In a candid and personal post on LinkedIn, CEO Kevin Gibbon said Shyp will be ending all operations because the business could not recover from Gibbon’s early mistakes, including embracing a “growth at all costs” strategy and not listening to his advisers.

“It’s easy to be drawn to the allure of stories where founders didn’t listen to advice and benefited from it, and I was definitely guilty of that. It clouded my judgment,” Gibbon wrote.

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When the company was founded in 2013, Gibbon said in the blog post, customer growth exploded. But after a few years, growth slowed. Instead of changing direction towards serving businesses, as he was advised, Gibbon decided to expand in additional markets — one of his biggest regrets.

Eventually, Shyp suspended all operations outside of San Francisco — the company’s largest and most profitable market — made that pivot towards business, and shut down unprofitable parts of the business, and laid off employees. By 2017, Shyp was breaking even, thanks in large part to partnerships with eBay, but Gibbon concedes that his earlier mistakes left the company without enough resources to continue.

“My early mistakes in Shyp’s business ended up being prohibitive to our survival. For that, I am sorry,” he wrote.

You can read Gibbon’s full letter here.

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