Payday for Shutl as eBay agrees to acquire the UK start-up

Online delivery service Shutl is set to be acquired by eBay, after an agreement to sell was made a year after launching in America.

Investors including Notion Capital, Hummingbird Ventures and are set to cash in following the sale of Shutl to online auction and shopping site eBay.

The business, which was founded by serial entrepreneur Tom Allason, began 2013 by setting up shop in New York and San Francisco – before moving into Boston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles later.

Shutl has received $8.69 million (£5.36 million) of venture capital since it founded in 2008 and has angels including Paul Birch and Robert Dighero.

California-based eBay has now made two British acquisitions with its other being the 2005 purchase of classified advertising business Gumtree for an undisclosed amount.

Allason, who also founded on-demand courier service, comments, ‘I have the utmost appreciation for the eBay team and am excited and honoured for Shutl to be part of their plans, starting in Chicago.

‘eBay’s bold vision to redefine local commerce is one that fits perfectly with what we have set out to achieve at Shutl. Together with eBay, we believe that we can transform this market and fulfil our mission.’

In August Shutl appointed the former eHarmony vice president Sean Cornwell and ex-Urban Express CEO Mike Fiorito as chief operating office and head of North America operations respectively.

GrowthBusiness profiled Allason back in 2012 when he was on the cusp of moving into the American market. Back then he said that, having already successfully launched in 60 towns and cities in the UK, no one else was doing it at that scale.

More on Shutl:

Allason says that being acquired by Shutl is ‘far from the end of the road’ for the UK business – rather a ‘doorway to a much greater opportunity’.

The eBay buy comes on the back of the launch of the Future Fifty initiative by the government and Tech City UK. The programme is looking to connect high-growth businesses with tools needed to secure an initial public offering in the UK, rather than selling out to a larger organisation.

For eBay, agreeing to buy Shutl follows on from the announcement of its Click & Connect trial with Argos (which Shutl works with) and plans to expand its eBay Now service into London.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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