UPS’ VC Arm Makes Undisclosed Investment in Online Shopping Manager itembase

By David Knight |

UPS has invested an undisclosed sum in itembase, an online shopping manager tool based in Berlin and San Francisco. The funding has come via the package delivery giant’s Strategic Enterprise Fund – a corporate VC group that focuses on innovation and developing partnerships from investments in tech companies.

The round comes just seven months after itembase raised $3.25 million from existing investors including High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Rheingau Founders and German Startups Group, seed funds such as WestTech Ventures and HR Alpha, and angel investors.

The company – which was founded in Berlin in November 2011 by Danish serial entrepreneur Stefan Jørgensen and CTO Ramo Karahasan, together with the Rheingau Founders team – helps sellers to deliver their duties and buyers to easily access their rights in relation to a purchase.

The platform helps you take control of your purchases by automatically processing products bought from different sources, including email, forwarded invoices and checkout integrations at Web shops. Both sellers and buyers can host, send and receive their products in digital form for free, with the company monetising by charging the former for apps that help increase revenues, build customer retention and makes sales easier.

“We are excited to welcome the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund as a new investor,” said Jørgensen, who is also the CEO of itembase. “This confirms that we are pursuing the right strategy in fulfilling our mission to become the online inventory for everyone and everything.”

Rimas Kapeskas, managing director of the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, said such deals help the US-based multinational collaborate with and learn from young companies like itembase which are developing new technologies in the e-commerce space.

“We continually evaluate the marketplace and invest in innovative companies through the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund to gain insights into changing consumer demands that will define next generation e-commerce,” he said.

By the end of last month, more than 30,000 online retailers around the world had signed up to itembase, with many of those in the US. The company is currently tracking close to $3 billion (€2.19bn) in annual gross merchandise value, while reaching more than 16 million unique consumers. Former Skype investor Morten Lund joined the itembase board at the same time as the funding round last October.