DYMO Endicia parent backs US start-up parcel carrier

Newell Rubbermaid, the US consumer goods manufacturer that owns online postage firm DYMO Endicia, has formed part of a new investment round for new Seattle-based parcel carrier EquaShip. Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid joined angle investors in the Pacific Northwest and California in the $900,000 funding round for EquaShip.

Newell, which also owns the DYMO Labeling brand of PC-connected label and postage printers, has earned the right to appoint a representative to the EquaShip managing board, Newell Ventures director Scott Galovan named today as the appointee.

EquaShip is aiming to challenge the likes of UPS and FedEx in the American e-commerce market from later this year, setting up a collection and delivery network for small and medium-sized online retailers through regional, national and international logistics partners including primary partner Blue Package, Inc., which is to operate the EquaShip collection network.

The company believes that avoiding enterprise-scale clients, who would mean very low margins for large shipment volumes, it can offer better shipment prices for smaller ecommerce players up to 30% lower than its established rivals.

This would mean helping smaller online retailers compete on more even ground with larger competitors that qualify for shipping discounts, EquaShip has said.

The latest investment round will support the establishment of a live operations facility at EquaShip, including a new customer care center.

The center should open in September 2011.

Ron Wiener, Founder and CEO at EquaShip, told Post&Parcel just ahead of today’s announcement that current progress suggested the EquaShip shipping services would begin around the same month, in good time for the build-up to the festive season.

Wiener, the former chairman of online mail company Earth Class Mail, welcomed the interest of Newell Rubbermaid in his new start-up, and could mean a working partnership with DYMO Endicia.

“A meaningful commercial agreement between Endicia and EquaShip was part and parcel of Newell’s interest in investing,” he revealed.

Once software systems are finalised this summer, EquaShip said its cloud-based technology would provide ecommerce retailers with a “seamless” shipping experience that will tie in with existing ecommerce software systems through API connections.

EquaShip said its services will include real-time track-and-trace visibility, no contracts or volume commitments and $100 of bundled “EquaSurance” insurance coverage.

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