Six months ago Upfront Ventures announced its first Partner hire since 2007 – Greg Bettinelli. I wrote about him here.
More importantly, he has just announced his first investment – he led a $7 million investment in Deliv – please read about it on Greg’s spiffy new blog.
It’s been a really exciting time for me personally to be able to see a partner come in with the energy, enthusiasm and new ideas that remind me of myself 6 years ago.
Greg immediately hit the ground running with a few themes that he had developed while the CMO at HauteLook, a successful eCommerce business that sold to Nordstrom for $270 million.
He immediately started meeting with every eCommerce business and has a few themes on where he thinks innovation at the brand level will come.
Another one of his big themes has been B2B crowd-sourcing and he had a company in mind already even before he joined – Deliv.
I talked about Deliv in my LeWeb keynote because I found their model fascinating.
But my take is this:
We know that B2C crowdsourcing of tasks and products has started to play a transformative role in our economy from everything from Uber to Airbnb to TaskRabbit to DogVacay.
We expect much more of this supply chain innovation to knock out inefficiencies in consumer storage, dry-cleaning and other services where you consumers need to have physical pick-up and drop-offs that are time consuming and unnecessary.
But we believe it is equally compelling to help existing businesses better compete with their online brethren.
Take for example retailers. On the one hand you can view their local stores as a competitive disadvantage because eCommerce companies can sell products with no physical retail stores.
On the other hand, you can view local physical stores as depot centers for same-day delivery.
But how to mobilize same-day deliver cost effectively?
That’s where Deliv comes in.
They have a crowd-sourced logistics model akin to Uber and Lyft but in their case it is specifically tailored to same-day delivery of physical goods.
It is differentiated from the service of picking up passengers and transporting them in that drivers have to have more specialization in picking up packages and driving them to consumers. You may have some drivers with larger cars and stronger bodies who transport white goods or TVs for example.
And I guess we’re not the only ones to think so. The company recently announced a partnership with General Growth Properties (GGP), one of the largest shopping mall operators in the U.S., to offer same-day delivery service for consumers to all GGP retailers nationwide.
Greg led this deal all the way but I had the pleasure of spending time with Daphne Carmeli during our investment analysis and was instantly sold. She has an impeccable background in the tech sector but also the perfect combination of “take no prisoners” competitive spirit delivered with a smile on her face.
The initial round was led by our friend Tim Connors at Pivot North, which is a bonus. Interestingly I wanted to link to his company website but it reverts back to the Twitter handle. I guess he’s one step ahead of the rest of us in being super lean.
Congrats to my partner Greg and the entire team at Deliv. We’re excited to see your continued progress.