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London-based startup Shutl shuttles toward the USA

Lon­don based e‑commerce start­up Shutl has just bagged an addi­tion­al $3.2 mil­lion in invest­ment which it plans to use in aid of its forth­com­ing USA launch.

Hav­ing expand­ed spec­tac­u­lar­ly through the UK over the last twelve months, Shutl’s extra mon­ey came from sources old and new.  Exist­ing investors include Hum­ming­bird Ven­tures and the strate­gic ven­ture wing of UPS, while the rest came from new back­ers Notion Cap­i­tal and e.ventures.

An ultra-fast Shutl

E‑commerce man­agers and e‑commerce ana­lysts alike will be inter­est­ed in Shutl’s unique angle, as the mar­ket is undoubt­ed­ly get­ting more crowd­ed.  Wit­ness moves by big box stores like Sta­ples and Home Depot to step into the e‑commerce space.  Unlike fel­low start­up Beautylish, which is focus­ing on cus­tomer engage­ment as part of a longer-term m‑commerce strat­e­gy, Shutl makes a bold but sim­ple promise.  It will deliv­er any prod­uct paid for online either with­in a few min­utes or inside any hour-long win­dow cho­sen by the cus­tomer.

The genius touch lies in its web platform’s links with local same-day couri­ers.  So far, its record is a deliv­ery tak­ing just 15 min­utes after pay­ment pro­cess­ing.

Sched­uled for the first quar­ter of 2013, the state­side launch will be cen­tered ini­tial­ly in San Fran­cis­co and New York.  But there­after comes ‘phase two’ of the firm’s US roll out and it has Wash­ing­ton, Philadel­phia, Mia­mi, Los Ange­les, Hous­ton, Chica­go, Boston and Atlanta in its sights.  And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s also head­ing for the Cana­di­an cities of Toron­to and Mon­tre­al.

Look­ing for pay-dirt in the USA

Shutl’s founder and CEO Tom Alla­son esti­mates that the US mar­ket alone will be worth approx­i­mate­ly $26 bil­lion by 2016, but it’s fair to say that his enter­prise will be fac­ing stiff com­pe­ti­tion.  TaskRab­bit and Post­mates, star­tups already up and run­ning on US soil, are also fight­ing hard to come out on top in the hyper-fast deliv­ery mar­ket.

Every dol­lar Shutl can raise will be of help in its effort to debut in the land of Uncle Sam, but it’s not doing at all bad­ly. Just over a month ago in August, it suc­cess­ful­ly raised $2 mil­lion toward the Amer­i­can launch.  Over five mil­lion dol­lars in less than two months sug­gests that it’s talk­ing its transat­lantic chal­lenge very seri­ous­ly.  Web con­tent man­agers look­ing for a new oppor­tu­ni­ty might think about jump­ing aboard when it arrives.

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