The pandemic normalized delivery in the US. But even before the health crises hit, delivery sales in restaurants alone were rising 7% to 8% a year, about double the sales of the entire restaurant industry, according to McKinsey. The problem is that delivery can be a nightmare on the part of the restaurant and merchant. Among other challenges, companies often rely on a single partner to make their deliveries, making them highly sensitive to fluctuations in supply and demand and reliability of service.
With a mission to make deliveries less of a headache, Mahmoud Ghulman founded Nash, a platform that brings together deliverers so that companies can select the ones that make the most sense in terms of price and availability. Nash connects to third-party delivery APIs from DoorDash, Lyft, Uber and other partners, providing customers with software to manage and provide local deliveries to their customers.
“Over the past few years, my co-founders and I have seen consumers expect incredibly fast, reliable delivery at an affordable price, given what the retail, delivery and transportation giants have accomplished,” Ghulman told BestFitnessBands in an e-mail. mail interview . “However, this has created a landscape where medium and small businesses struggle to meet consumer demands due to the complexity and high costs associated with running and maintaining a last-mile delivery operation. So we got really interested in building a software and logistics solution that would make it easy for any business to activate reliable local delivery by building custom workflows and leveraging a large network of couriers.”
Ghulman met Nash’s other co-founder Aziz Alghunaim at a high school science fair, and the two attended MIT together. Previously an engineer at Palantir, Alghunaim helped launch Tarjimly, a Y Combinator-backed startup that aims to reduce language barriers for refugees while providing access to support services.
Ghulman and Alghunaim co-founded Nash in early 2021, and the company participated in Y Combinator’s S21 batch. Clearly, Nash, who impressed investors, today closed a $20 million Series A round led by Andreesen Horowitz with backing from Y Combinator, Rackhouse Venture Capital and “leaders in the technology and supply chain space.” “.
“Today’s newly announced $20 million Series A capital brings our total funding to $27.8 million as it comes on the heels of our previously unannounced $7.8 million seed round from late last year, which also led by Andreesen Horowitz,” Ghulman said. “This funding will be used to double hire in engineering, operations, sales and other key business functions. We plan to grow our workforce of 25 employees by more than 2x to 3x by the end of the year to match our explosive growth.”
With Nash, companies can choose delivery drivers manually or let the platform do it automatically. Either way, they get price and time estimates plus information about the delivery person, including their contact details and location.
tThousands of merchants access the platform for individual and grouped (i.e. multi-pickup) delivery routes through Nash’s partnerships, Ghulman claims, reaching up to 94% of the US population in nearly 1,000 cities.
To optimize routes, Nash uses AI and machine learning to predict a carrier’s on-time delivery performance, given variables such as pick-up time, delivery time, package value, distance, and driving time. Nash supports a range of different delivery options, Ghulman says, including scheduled and same-hour deliveries, as well as store-to-store deliveries and customer returns.
“What we do for delivery is what Stripe has done for payments: we built a simple API and workflow builder,” Ghulman continued. “Businesses can build a custom delivery workflow by leveraging our API platform or accessing Nash directly through our technical partnerships with leading marketplaces, aggregators and point-of-sale providers. This approach makes it easy for teams to reduce the technical overhead required to maintain a high-quality delivery operation.”
The market for on-demand delivery, which has always been on the capital-intensive side, is currently not particularly healthy, as evidenced by the massive layoffs at delivery startups like Gopuff. Ghulman declined to provide hard numbers on Nash’s revenue and customer base, but assured me that Nash has not been affected by the broader slowdown and is “well positioned” to weather potential headwinds.
“The pandemic has caused an unimaginable increase in demand for local supplies across all sectors. Many companies could not keep up. Some were even forced to close. And starting or running a delivery business has been even more challenging than usual due to a reduced workforce,” said Ghulman. “By removing the technical, logistical and operational overhead associated with providing a reliable delivery experience, Nash has helped hundreds of businesses access to new customers and revenue streams.”
Looking ahead, Nash plans to expand further into industries such as retail, auto parts, pet supplies, catering and meal kits, laundry, floral, printing and framing, pharmaceuticals and small packs. It’s also looking to new markets, including Canada and the UK, where Nash plans to launch by the end of the year.