With a growing need for rapid last-mile delivery, Dispatch is solving a critical business need through a combination of delivery management software and its on-demand last-mile delivery marketplace. Dispatch founders Andrew Leone and Ryan Hanson’s nascent idea in 2016 is now transforming the traditional courier space for B2B industrial and wholesale businesses, making the final-mile delivery process efficient, transparent, and reliable.
A smart idea to simplify final-mile delivery.
Dispatch, a B2B delivery platform, simplifies last-mile delivery, making it affordable and scalable for industrial and wholesale businesses. Customers use the Dispatch web application to schedule deliveries, tapping into the Dispatch network of independent contract drivers. These drivers respond to delivery requests using the Dispatch mobile app. The result? Efficient part and package pick-up with on-time delivery to the final destination. With built-in transparency from customer to driver to end-user, each parcel and point in the delivery process is tracked in real-time.
From its single market beginnings in the Twin Cities to today, Dispatch has grown to 75 major markets, creating robust local markets, and now, a burgeoning national marketplace. The company grew by effectively scaling a go-to-market organization and learning how to best deploy multiple rounds of financing. In 2022, Dispatch secured a $50 million Series C growth infusion from PeakSpan Capital to help them take the business to the next level.
Supplementing solid business skills with software startup experience.
Co-founder and CEO Andrew Leone had built and grown several businesses throughout his career, but never in the software and technology space. Along with Ryan Hanson, co-founder and president of Dispatch, they understood the need for help and guidance along the way. They turned to MESA in 2018 shortly after they launched the business, and that 3 ½ year relationship helped them understand the unique aspects of technology startups, put that knowledge to work, and speed them toward their goals.
“Building and growing companies was not foreign to me, but there are a lot of nuances with a tech company, not the least of which is raising money. Building, structuring, and managing a software team was also new, having relied on third parties in the past,” Andrew explained. “Having MESA mentors who have been through this startup rodeo saved us a ton of headaches and heartburn and helped us shorten our path to success.”
Andrew and Ryan launched Dispatch in the Twin Cities market in 2017. By 2018, they had paying customers and were ready to fill in some of their knowledge gaps to help them position for scale. With a sharp focus on the industrial and wholesale space, they built a novel marketplace solution, hired that important software development team, and methodically added markets.
Building a solid foundation for consistent growth with unbiased advice.
MESA mentors Kent Lillemoe, former CFO of Field Nation, and Rob Juncker, CTO of Code42, were natural mentor partners for Andrew and Ryan. Kent’s 30 years of financial experience working with emerging growth businesses made him an intelligent advisor and sounding board as Dispatch began the process of securing capital to fuel its growth.
“The whole point of running a business is getting customers, and we had customers before raising any capital. Kent was well-suited to help us understand where to start and who to talk to as we began that part of our journey,” Andrew continued. “His financial background was also instrumental in helping us understand how to manage and deploy that capital. All of it was new to me, having previously grown through reinvesting business profits, and it helped me with that mind shift.”
With over 15 years of experience in B2B software development at early and growth-stage software companies, Rob Juncker was a knowledgeable guide as Dispatch looked to structure and build its development team. Neither Andrew nor Ryan had led a software team, so sharing ideas and getting advice gave Dispatch a framework for building out a critical aspect of their business to keep their platform solid and growing.
“Working with Andrew and Rob was a pleasure, and seeing Dispatch’s growth has been very rewarding,” MESA mentor Kent Lillemoe said. “Throughout the mentoring relationship, Rob and I had discussions with them ranging from product management priorities to scaling to organizational development to capital raising and valuation. They were astute, focused and made the most of our mentoring engagement.”
Recognition, new horizons, and an appreciation for the power of mentoring.
From the earliest days to today, Dispatch has seen steady growth. From 10 employees to nearly 200 today and one market to 75, Dispatch now serves over 38,000 customers. They have a solid position for further expansion, market penetration, and a national enterprise approach. Their software has grown increasingly sticky, integrating with customers’ inventory control, job cost, and billing systems. And since launching, they’ve raised $71 million in equity to fuel their trajectory, including the $50 million growth infusion last year.
In 2021 Andrew was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. That same year Dispatch was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Startup Employers. And Andrew was listed in Twin Cities Business Magazine’s TCB100 as a newsmaker, trailblazer, and business leader to watch in 2023.
Andrew and his partner Ryan understood the value and support their MESA mentors offered as they carved out their unique niche and path toward growth.
“Both Kent and Rob brought a lot to the table. They helped us round out our skill sets and supported us with their expertise in those early stages where we weren’t in a position to hire seasoned leaders to help us scale,” Andrew said. “From structuring and scaling a software team to getting our heads around raising equity, managing dilution, and deploying capital – MESA and our mentors delivered amazing value.”