Shutl, which launched in October 2009 with £500,000 in seed funding, will primarily use the equity to increase headcount, namely in creating a sales team and expanding its in-house software development. The London business also has plans to explore ‘international opportunities’ while expanding the number of its domestic partners.
Founder and chief executive, Tom Allason, who was previously founder of eCourier.co.uk, has refused to name the corporate backer, but in a statement says: ‘This investor wishes to remain anonymous at this stage while they work with Shutl to assess and develop market extension possibilities across Europe and determine the best strategic fit alongside their existing services. ‘
Allason adds, ‘I am particularly excited at the prospect of collaborating with a strategic investor that already has local infrastructure and retailer customers across Europe.’
‘We were in discussion with a number of VCs when we were approached by this party however felt that no traditional investor could bring as much to the table. We still expect to look for Series A funding towards the end of 2011, however we now have enough runway to launch with several additional UK multi-channel retailers and to begin exploring the market right across Europe.’
Shutl’s delivery service technology enables shoppers to receive their online or in-store orders in as little as 90 minutes, or pick a convenient one-hour delivery window anytime during the week. In the past two years, it has received investment from a group of investors led by Simon Murdoch and Big Bang Ventures.
In August 2010, the company, which currently operates in closed beta with a handful of retailers, announced a trial with Argos.co.uk in London. It now expects to roll out the service to other Argos stores across the UK.