Lee Hnetinka Darkstore Raises 1.4 Million Dollars

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 20, 2017) - Darkstore CEO Lee Hnetinka has successfully raised $1.4 million in seed funding from PivotNorth Capital, the company has announced. The funding will be used to hire additional employees and expand Darkstore's operations into three new markets: Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. In addition to the money, PivotNorth general partner Tim Connors will be joining Darkstore's Board of Directors.

Hnetinka had the following to say about his company's new partnership:

"PivotNorth brings tremendous value to Darkstore. Tim (Connors)...has a deep understanding of the market and shares our vision for... democratizing logistics so any retailer can offer the same affordable ... delivery options as big box stores."

Darkstore specializes in allowing smaller online retailers to offer 1-hour and same day delivery services that are generally too expensive for them to offer on their own. They accomplish this by leasing excess space in buildings for use as fulfillment centers near large population centers. The company has locations in New York, San Francisco, and Phoenix in addition to the new ones above. Companies such as Deliv and UberRUSH are used to transport products from the fulfillment center to customers quickly and at an affordable price, making Darkstore the only third-party logistics provider (3PL) to partner with last-mile delivery services for a more efficient customer experience.

This message resonates with a lot of Hnetinka's retail partners, which include Tuft & Needle, Luma Home, Nootroo, Frank + Oak, and Wildfang. Their latest partner is audio manufacturer Master & Dynamic. Hnetinka had the following to say about his newest retail partner, "We couldn't be more excited to partner with Master & Dynamic. We're big fans of the brand and we share the same philosophy of offering a stellar product and customer experience."

Hnetinka had previously raised $270,000 from R/GA Ventures and TripAdvisor Chief Growth Officer Gary Fritz. Darkstore is now in excellent financial shape to pursue Hnetinka's strategy of expansion.

In addition, Hnetinka has positioned Darkstore as a future market leader in the 3PL industry by securing partnerships with valuable firms such as PivotNorth, Deliv and Master & Dynamic that go well beyond short term financial gains.

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