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Business

ShipHawk Grows into Bigger Office Space in Goleta as E-Commerce Shipping Platform Takes Off

Shipping items can be stressful, and a local startup’s bet to develop software automating that process has paid off in company growth.

ShipHawk recently moved out of its cramped Upper State Street office in Santa Barbara to 26 Castilian Drive in Goleta, where the business founded in 2013 is planning for continued expansion.

The company started out offering a software quoting tool to anyone who visited its website — a one-stop shop for packing, shipping, insurance and pickup services for packages of any size — but has since found a niche helping shippers like auction providers better automate costs.

If there’s one constant for those who sell products online, it’s having to figure in shipping and transportation expenses, according to CEO and co-founder Jeremy Bodenhamer, who came up with the initial idea for ShipHawk while running Santa Barbara’s Pack and Post.

Bodenhamer bought that business, which has operated locally since 1982, in 2006, not long after graduating from Westmont College.

He sold Pack and Post five years later to ShipHawk co-founder and current CTO Aaron Freeman.

“We primarily serve e-commerce retailers or brick-and-mortar stores that want an online presence,” Bodenhamer said of ShipHawk.

“At its core, we automate their logistics. Sellers don’t know where their buyers are coming from. These retailers are entering every transaction blind. Without this information, it’s hard for them to make intelligent decisions. They can’t profitably exist in that space.”

ShipHawk raised its first $1 million with its original idea, using the capital in 2014 to buy API tools to enhance its platform.

In an online shopping cart-to-customer experience, Bodenhamer said clients can now better navigate pickup processes, inventory control and shipment tracking by instantly comparing pricing and delivery options — all of which won’t have to come at the expense of future sales or company growth.

Shiphawk CEO and co-founder Jeremy Bodenhamer came up with the initial idea for the company while running the Santa Barbara Pack and Post. “We primarily serve e-commerce retailers or brick-and-mortar stores that want an online presence,” he says. “We automate their logistics. Sellers don’t know where their buyers are coming from. These retailers are entering every transaction blind. Without this information, it’s hard for them to make intelligent decisions.” Click to view larger
Shiphawk CEO and co-founder Jeremy Bodenhamer came up with the initial idea for the company while running the Santa Barbara Pack and Post. “We primarily serve e-commerce retailers or brick-and-mortar stores that want an online presence,” he says. “We automate their logistics. Sellers don’t know where their buyers are coming from. These retailers are entering every transaction blind. Without this information, it’s hard for them to make intelligent decisions.” (Shiphawk photo)

He used Everything But the House in Cincinnati as an example. The online estate sale company was having trouble expanding sales outside its area because of shipping cost uncertainty.

Within 10 months of using ShipHawk, Bodenhamer said, the company had raised $43 million in capital and expanded into nearly two dozen markets.

In its efforts to innovate the e-commerce sector, ShipHawk has grown to nearly 50 employees today from two — hence the need for more space.

Bodenhamer said the company grew by seven times in 2014-2015, adding several top executives who hail from companies that include lynda.com and Digifit.

He expected similar growth this year, confident more businesses would put ShipHawk’s software in their online shopping carts.

“We’ve exceeded our projections since inception,” Bodenhamer said, noting the business beat financial projections by about 15 percent last year.

Next up, he said, will be trying to use the automated platform’s analytics to improve the shipping experience.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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