Scurri, an e-commerce and delivery software start-up, has raised €9 million as it eyes up a stronger stake in the UK market.
The Irish start-up develops software for companies in the e-commerce game to manage and optimize their packaging, dispatch and delivery of goods. This extends to tracking shipments along with analytics on the data collected throughout this process.
British growth equity investor Gresham House Ventures led the investment with Pa Nolan, a former director at financial services firm Fexco, and a number of family offices participating. Its total funding to date is €15.3 million.
“The UK is probably one of the most sophisticated e-commerce markets in the world,” chief executive Rory O’Connor said. “There’s a huge amount of complexity in it, which for a system like ours, we want to make things simple, provides good hunting ground for us.”
The e-commerce boom during the pandemic has presented a great of deal of opportunities for companies selling online but with that comes many challenges. Among them is Brexit where companies have had to contest with a radically different landscape for customs and longer delivery times than before.
Scurri generates about 70% of its revenue from the UK market but O’Connor said there’s still a lot of untapped potential there before it looks further afield.
“Brexit and the additional complications with customs just play into our strengths. It provides even more opportunities for us. We’ve not even started to scratch the surface in terms of the opportunities that are in the UK and we’ve just seen massive growth in the last year.”
The start-up has amassed several big-name customers in the UK including Vision Direct, eBay and Gousto.
O’Connor said he expects the company to triple its workforce of 45 over the next two years in sales, marketing, tech development and customer support.
The bulk of its staff is based at its headquarters in Wexford, in the southeast of Ireland, but that will include some remote workers such as UK-based staff. Remote working will help in sourcing more talent, he said, but he’s not convinced on the fully remote model.
“As always there’s a challenge in hiring tech roles, there always has been, I think there always will be,” O’Connor said.
“We’ve got some people who are in other areas of Europe, Poland and Hungary. We found over a time that having a blend of some people working from the office and some remote has worked well for us and being centered around an office is good. I don’t think we’ll move to a fully remote model in any way.”
Earlier this year, Scurri reached profitability but O’Connor said that as the company ramps up spending to meet its growth needs it will slip into the red again.
“Before we raised our funding, we had a drive to get to profitability and it was a strategic decision that we wanted to prove that the business model worked,” O’Connor said.
“Cash can sometimes be easy to raise out there but going for profitability means that your company actually works,” he said.
“We do see in the life of our plan that we’ll get back to profitability within a couple of years.”