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Friday Funding: Seattle’s Newest Unicorn

Flexe Raises Fresh Funds

Despite the volatility in the venture capital space, deals are still getting done. In fact, another Seattle-based 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 programmatic logistics technology platform that assists brands with everything from distribution and storage, to e-commerce fulfillment. As retailers continue to grapple with the snarled global supply chain, Flexe has seen demand for its services surge.

Pandemic Causes Demand to Jump

Nearly a decade ago, Flexe began by helping online retailers find on-demand warehouse space. Rather than retailers paying a fixed-cost for space, Flexe set out to help these companies turn this expense into a variable-cost, or something they only pay for when they need it. This helped brands scale easier through the ebbs 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. This is why major funds including Blackrock, Tiger Global, and Redpoint Ventures decided to invest in Flexe.

Investors Interested in Supply Chain Tech

In comparison to last year, it’s been harder to raise capital for late-stage, growth-focused technology companies in 2022. This is because publicly traded growth companies have seen their share prices fall as a result of rising interest rates.

This fresh funding for Flexe shows some investors are still interested in logistic and supply chain technology that can help companies navigate a new normal. So far, VC-backed logistic startups have raised roughly $11.5 billion in 2022. Although this is slightly below last year’s pace, which saw $24.5 billion raised in the space, it still illustrates where private capital is flowing.

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James Flippin ABOUT James Flippin James Flippin is the son of a financial advisor who grew up hearing and learning about bond yields, interest rates, the stock market, and the ins and outs of Wall Street. After stints as a licensing and business broker for Marcus and Millichap in New York City, James moved into broadcasting and became a reporter and anchor. He covered crime, politics, finance, and tech at NBC News Radio while working part-time as a producer for SiriusXM. James graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He's also an accomplished podcaster with over 10-years of experience.

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