Multi-channel fulfilment start-up huboo sees unprecedented growth during coronavirus

  • With 100% quarter-on-quarter growth prior to the onset of the pandemic, Bristol-based huboo are reporting 50% growth on last month’s figures.
  • Essential items’ category grows by 63,000% from February to March after launching in January.
  • CEO and co-founder Martin Bysh attributes growth to companies being forced into e-commerce as a result of the crisis, alongside 3rd-party fulfilment issues in marketplace giant Amazon.
  • Bristol-based huboo targets the targets £27 billion U.K., Europe and U.S. fulfilment market and unlocks SME growth gridlock.
  • Chaos of coronavirus has seen disrupted SMEs flock to the innovative ‘micro-hub’ design of huboo.

Bristol-based fulfilment centre huboo has continued to seize new business during the COVID-19 epidemic with a unique, socially-distanced ‘micro-hub’ design implemented well before lockdown began.

With a recent investment by Maersk Growth, the corporate venture arm of shipping giant AP-Moller Maersk, huboo was experiencing 100% quarter-on-quarter growth prior to the onset of the pandemic. The firm is now reporting 50% growth on last month’s figures and serves nearly 300 retailers. With an initial seed funding of £1m last year, this tripling of its customer base represents a 600% year on year increase.

Amazon’s lengthening FBA lead times, supermarket stock issues and coronavirus forcing firms to e-commerce models have been attributed to this rapid growth during a time of wide-spread economic turmoil.

CEO and co-founder Martin Bysh says:

“Amazon’s decision to prioritise its own essential items and increase third-party FBA fulfilment lead times by up to four weeks has led to many businesses having to look at handling their own logistics. Lockdown has also seen businesses and consumers who previously resisted the pull of e-Commerce being driven online. These are working in tandem in driving SMEs to look for alternative fulfilment options.

With our micro-hub model, social distancing occurred organically in the work place anyway. Of course, we implemented further safety measures from quarantining on full pay, masks, hand sanitisers to repeated washing of surfaces and staggered breaks, but this could be done with little to no effect on our business structure. For us, it’s very much business as usual.”

Whilst huboo’s plans for expansion into Europe have been put on hold, the company plans to grow the use of its SaaS interface throughout the UK, along with more clients and more warehouses.