Cross-border trading firm Zonos has raised $ 69 million in a Series A, led by Silversmith Capital Partners, to continue developing its APIs that automatically classify goods and calculate an accurate total landed cost on international transactions.
Zonos, based in St. George, Utah, classifies the round as a minority investment that also included individual investors Eric Rea, CEO of Podium, and Aaron Skonnard, co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight. Series A is the first outside capital that Zonos has raised since its inception in 2009, Founder and CEO Clint Reid told TechCrunch.
As Reid explained, “Total Landed Cost” refers to the duties, taxes, import and shipping charges that a person from another country might pay when purchasing items from the States. -United. However, it is often difficult for businesses to determine the exact cost of these fees. .
Global cross-border e-commerce was estimated at over $ 400 billion in 2018, but it is growing twice as fast as domestic e-commerce. That’s where Zonos comes in: The company’s APIs, apps, and plugins simplify cross-border sales by providing an accurate end price that a consumer pays for an item in an international purchase. Companies can choose which or more carriers they want to work with and even allow customers to choose at the time of purchase.
“Businesses can’t know all the laws in a country,” Reid added. “Our mission is to create confidence in global trade. If you are transparent, you bring confidence. This was traditionally seen as a shipping issue, but it really is a technological issue.
As part of the investment, Todd MacLean, Managing Partner at Silversmith Capital Partners, has joined the Zonos Board of Directors. One of the things that drew MacLean into the business was that Reid was building a business outside of Silicon Valley and disrupting global commerce away from any port.
He says that by looking at international trade, he found that people were charged extra fees after already purchasing the item, which resulted in bad customer experiences, especially when a merchant tries to retain their loyalty. Mark.
Even if someone chooses not to purchase the item due to the fees being too high, MacLean believes the shopping experience will be different because the pricing and shipping information was provided in advance.
“Our due diligence indicated that Zonos is the only player to take existing data and make sense of it,” MacLean said. “Customers love it – we have the most impressive customer referrals because that demand is already there, and they’re seeing more revenue and their customers are more loyal because it works.”
In fact, it’s common for companies to see their sales increase 25 to 30 percent year-over-year, Reid added. He went on to say that because of the costs associated with shipping, it doesn’t always mean increased revenue for businesses. There may be a little decrease, but longer lifetime value with customers.
Tackling venture capital during this time was important to Reid, who saw global trade become more complex as countries added new tax laws and stopped using other trade regulations. However, it was not just about securing the funding, but finding the right partner who recognizes that this problem will not be resolved in the next five years, but will have to be part of it for the long term, which Reid said he saw in Orfèvre.
The new investment allows Zonos to expand into product development and marketing, while expanding its global team in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Eighteen months ago, the company had 30 employees and today it has more than 100. It also has more than 1,500 customers worldwide and provides them with millions of disembarkation quotes every day.
“Right now, we are the API leader in cross-border e-commerce, but we also need to be the technology leader regardless of industry,” added Reid. “We can’t just accept that we’re good enough, we have to be better to do it. We are looking to expand into other markets as it is not just about serving US businesses, but has to be where our customers are. “