Hive launches in the UK to give D2C merchants access to European consumers
In the aftermath of London Tech Week, German fulfilment startup, Hive, has announced its U.K. launch as it aims to generate 200 new U.K. jobs and make cross-border commerce easier for D2C brands selling products to customers in Europe
LONDON, UK, THURSDAY 22 JUNE 2023, 9:00AM: Hive, a German eCommerce and fulfilment startup that promises D2C merchants it will reliably manage and deliver goods to consumers across Europe, is officially launching in the U.K. from today. The company, which was founded in May 2020 and went on to raise a $34m Series A from investor Tiger Global, and Earlybird Ventures, has confirmed it will initially partner with fulfilment providers using Hive’s proprietary software and operational processes, in addition to its own employees at each partner site – to help UK-based D2C brands ship products to customers in the U.K. and Europe.
The move, which adds the U.K. to Hive’s growing European operations, aims to generate 200 UK jobs in the next 2 years and provide sellers on Shopify, WooCommerce and other eCommerce sites with 2-day delivery windows for all European customers. With more than 156,000 online stores on Shopify alone in the U.K. – Hive is taking the opportunity to capitalise on a rapidly growing U.K. market, and making it easier for those merchants to sell to customers in Europe, post-Brexit.
Amongst its competitors, which include Bristol-based Huboo and Parisian startup Bigblue, which raised €13m in 2022, Hive differentiates itself by giving D2C brands simplified access to customers in Europe. Having built a name for itself on the continent by focusing on building its operations and software solutions from the ground up, Hive provides end-to-end logistics and fulfilment software to growing D2C brands in addition to running its own fulfilment centres, something the company claims gives it a competitive advantage over competitors that have never had to handle running operations on the ground.
Peter-Paul Brenninkmeijer, VP Expansion & General Manager for the U.K. – and one of Hive’s team that has worked picking and packing in its fulfilment centres, said: “As you’d expect in warehouses or fulfilment centres, it’s hard to get a real understanding of how to improve operations if you haven’t had to deal with the realities on the ground. In every case, we’ve done as much as we can to build on our knowledge and experience operating at these sites – and that makes it much easier for us to create solutions that improve it.”
“The information we see from our own centres, for example, means our software is much more reliable at anticipating and managing returns, navigating customs requirements, and negotiating shipping terms on our customer’s behalf”, he continued.
With a model that charges brands on a per-order basis, Hive has expanded rapidly across Germany, France, Italy and Spain in the past two years, and sees the opportunity to bring European market access and fulfilment to U.K. businesses.
Hive is a Berlin headquartered logistics-tech startup, offering holistic operations and software to direct-to-consumer brands in Europe and the U.K. Hive aims to be the operational brain of every D2C company, so that merchants can focus on growing other aspects of their business.