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GoBolt ‘Actively Growing’ US Warehouse Network

Toronto fulfillment and last-mile delivery provider GoBolt has expanded its footprint to the U.S. in a move it said will broaden its reach to nearly 13 million households.

The expansion is GoBolt’s first move to markets outside of Canada, where the company has been servicing Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.

GoBolt, which originally started in 2017 as a storage company, offers warehousing, fulfillment and last-mile delivery services to retailers.

“We’re laser-focused on making logistics easier than the purchase itself,” cofounder and CEO Mark Ang said in a statement. “Expanding our network in the U.S. is the next logical step for GoBolt and its merchants, and we’re excited to continue raising the bar in logistics with our North American-wide coverage.”

The company’s technology links with businesses on e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and connects them with UPS, FedEx and other parcel carriers for delivery. The company is also building its own electric vehicle fleet as part of a number of sustainability efforts aimed at taking its operations carbon neutral by the end of next year.

The company works with mostly mid-market, enterprise and direct-to-consumer online brands.

GoBolt’s warehouse network totals 14 across North America, according to a company spokesperson. That includes New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Miami in the U.S.

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The spokesperson went on to say the company is “actively growing” its U.S. warehouse network in Georgia, along with additional locations in Texas.

GoBolt is not limiting its reach to North America. The company has said it intends to eventually expand into the U.K. and Australia.

The market expansion had been expected after the company’s November close of a $92.3 million Series B round.

GoBolt is backed by Ingka Group, the largest Ikea franchisee generating about 90 percent of the retailer’s sales. Other investors in the company include Yaletown Partners, which led the Series B, Northleaf Capital Partners, Bank of Montreal and Kensington Capital among others.

GoBolt said its revenue tripled in the first quarter when compared to the year-ago period as it sees rapid growth.

The expansion comes as larger players in the market also look to broaden their reach. One of the biggest logistics companies, Amazon, said last month it is rolling out its Prime membership benefits to retailers outside of its online marketplace. Initially, businesses that are already using Fulfillment by Amazon warehousing and logistics services will be invited to try the program. However, it will be extended to those not currently selling on Amazon or using its fulfillment services throughout this year.

The marketplace is clearly competitive, with CB Insights reporting supply chain and logistics tech companies raised $9.4 billion globally in the first quarter.

The research firm also noted, however, investor sentiment is becoming more cautious with the time between a Series A and Series B round for startups averaging 22 months in the first quarter. That compares to 15 months in 2018.

“This reflects trends seen in the broader VC environment, as global unrest and turbulent public markets have led to a more cautious approach from investors,” the report pointed out.

This year is likely to see more merger and acquisition activity, with CB Insights reporting global M&As is trending to surpass last year. The quarter saw 37 M&A deals globally.

Meanwhile, IPOs and reverse merger deals are trending down and capped the quarter at zero.