In less than a week now, we will be sitting at the startup panel with four young tech companies, including Ironclad, Beyond Pricing, Rainforest QA, and Sendoso. Having given a more in depth analysis into Ironclad via my presentation, I wanted to dive further into another: Sendoso.
First, their story. Sendoso wasn’t always Sendoso. Co-founders Bryan Young and Kris Rudeegraap originally started a company called CoffeeSender. They were looking for “a better way to connect with prospects and customers.” This platform, a much simpler version of Sendoso’s current business model, egifted only coffee gift cards and became relatively successful, which led to an eventual contract with Starbucks. However, Young and Rudeegraap noticed the potential with this idea and ultimately established and focused on Sendoso as a result, which now performs CoffeeSender’s service and much more.
Second, the basics. Sendoso, founded in 2016, is an online platform that automates shipping for essentially anything your company might need, including branding materials, company swag, egifts from other integrated sources, direct mail printed on demand, and handwritten notes. Some other unique features are local warehouses that store your products, integrated online partners to send egifts, and realtime tracking data. Watch this video to get a better look at some of their key features.
This all, of course, sounds modern, organized, and efficient, yet my first question was how is this actually useful? What problem is Sendoso solving? I know sending a letter or packaging materials does not require much time or effort. However, Sendoso answers this questions through its key, driving feature, ROI or its data on your return on investment.
For example, a marketing firm may want to send free hats to a particular community through a “one to many” send in order to promote brand awareness. While the sending is easy, the analytics is hard. Was this campaign successful? How quickly did our materials arrive? What was the level of engagement from users of this community afterwards? This is where Sendoso comes in. By explaining, centralizing, and modeling, Sendoso saves the firm time and money, while also providing the groundwork necessary to adjust or improve their next strategy.
UPS can’t do that.
Third, customer experience. Sendoso is committed to providing the best customer experience as possible. Over two years ago, co-founder and Vice President of Sales Bryan Young mentioned in an interview with Marketing Technology Insights that he would love to see AI better introduced and user friendly on his platform. He’s since accomplished this goal in the form of a chatbox, specifically via Drift, an integrated, AI based web app that connects and guides a conversational experience for users. Here’s a video to better understand what this means in practice.
Fourth, expansion. In September of 2018, Sendoso announced that it would expanding into Scottsdale, Arizona with a plan to hire approximately three hundred new employees. CEO and Co-Founder Kris Rudeegraap explained that he chose this location for three reasons: the proximity to the West coast, the supportive broader Phoenix community, and accessibility to Arizona State University. Still keeping their offices in San Francisco, this is a bold move with only completed two rounds of early stage funding from 500 Accelerators and 500 Startups.
This change of location from the Valley to a college town is not new. McKessy, America’s largest pharmaceutical distributor, recently announced that it would move headquarters from San Francisco to Irving, Texas. This is accessible to universities such as Texas Christian University and University of Dallas, both with strong focuses in business management. Similarly, Sendoso’s move to Scottsdale is nearby to ASU, which has over 40,000 undergraduate students with popular concentrations in marketing and software development. Clearly both young and established companies alike are recognizing the potential of college hubs. As a result, this demonstrates Sendoso’s plan of action in establishing itself among a younger population, taking initiative to provide accessible opportunity at Sendoso, and adding to Scottsdale’s growing innovative network.
Sendoso brands itself as the world’s first sending platform. And with that, it is also still the most successful and popular. Still with little competition, they have a unique market reach and are currently still able to operate on a blue ocean strategy. Of course, many companies offer shipping. In fact, many companies now are built on it, such as Amazon or Revolve. Sendoso’s most similar competitor is Print SF, which also automates your company’s shipping needs and centralizes your company’s information. However, Sendoso remains in the lead and unique due to its unparalleled ROI data and its seamless integrations that allow you to easily egift a product that is not your own.
Sendoso represents a startup with ambition and the true entrepreneurial spirit. This company has managed to solve a problem people did not fully know existed and has boldly pursued growth, both in and out of their office walls. Beyond excited to meet and hear their story in person in just a few days.