October 31, 2007, 12:00 AM

Shipwire refits shipping portal and gets $4 million in funding

The redesigned Shipwire.com lets online retailers, including eBay sellers, operate without their own warehouse and shipping facilities by arranging for Shipwire to store inventory and ship it to their web customers.

Shipwire Inc.’s redesigned Shipwire.com lets online retailers, including sellers on eBay, operate without their own warehouse and shipping facilities by arranging for Shipwire to store inventory and ship it to their online customers, Shipwire says.

Shipwire also announced this week that it had received $4 million in funding from investors led by Meakem Becker Venture Capital. The funding will support the continued expansion of Shipwire’s service offerings and global warehouse operations, Shipwire says.

“Our goal is to fundamentally change the game for merchants with easy, no-risk Internet delivery services that allow businesses to eliminate storage and shipping as a barrier to their business growth,” says founder and CEO Damon Schechter.

With just a few clicks on the redesigned Shipwire.com, a merchant can arrange for Shipwire to store its merchandise and then have Shipwire pack up and ship those orders directly to online customers, the company says.

Shipwire, based in Sunnyvale, CA, charges monthly fees based on volume of inventory and number of shipments. For 16 cubic feet of storage space and eight items shipped per month, for example, the monthly fee is $29.95. The fee rises to $79.95 for 64 cubic feet and 24 shipped items, and to $159.95 for 256 cubic feet and 60 shipped items. (After arranging to store merchandise at Shipwire, retailers make their own separate arrangements to ship their merchandise to Shipwire warehouses.)

Shipwire provides links from retailers’ online order management systems to its warehouse and fulfillment systems to immediately receive order information entered by shoppers at its clients’ web sites. There are no additional set-up fees, a spokeswoman says.

Shipwire says it serves more than 30,000 online retailers and maintains warehouse facilities in Chicago and Los Angeles. Client retailers include Doggypads.com, a retailer of pet training products; Keetsa.com, a retailer of eco-friendly mattresses, and UK-based IndigoClothing.com, a retailer of promotional t-shirts that has used Shipwire to enter the U.S. market.

As part of the $4 million funding deal, Meakem Becker Venture Capital principals Glen Meakem and Dave Becker have joined Shipwire’s board of directors. Meakem and Becker formerly served as CEO and chief operating officer, respectively, of FreeMarkets, a provider of Internet-based product sourcing services now part of Ariba Inc.

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