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Funding Friday: Seattle’s newest unicorn

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Flexe is raising new funds

Despite the volatility in the venture capital industry, deals are still being made. In fact, another Seattle company became a unicorn this week. Flexe, a 9-year-old company, just crossed the $1 billion mark after raising $119 million in a Series D round.

The company operates a software logistics technology platform that helps brands with everything from distribution and warehousing to e-commerce fulfillment. As retailers continue to struggle with the global supply chain, demand for Flexe’s services has grown.

The pandemic causes a spike in demand

Almost a decade ago, Flexe started by helping online retailers find on-demand warehouse space. Instead of retailers paying fixed costs for space, Flexe decided to help these companies turn those costs into variable costs, or something they only pay for when they need it. This has helped brands scale more easily through the ebb and flow of demand.

When the pandemic hit and the supply chain became more complex, demand for this flexible model skyrocketed. In fact, 60% of the largest retailers in the US use Flexe. That’s why major funds, including Blackrock, Tiger Global and Redpoint Ventures, have decided to invest in Flexe.

Investors are interested in supply chain technologies

Compared to last year, it was more difficult to raise capital for late-stage, growth-oriented technology companies in 2022. That’s because growing public companies have seen their stock prices fall as a result of rising interest rates.

Flexe’s new funding shows that some investors are still interested in logistics and supply chain technologies that can help companies transition to a new normal. So far, venture capital-backed logistics startups have raised an estimated $11.5 billion in 2022. While that’s slightly off last year’s pace of $24.5 billion raised in the space, it still shows where private capital is flowing.

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