You probably already know what dropshipping is, but just in case you are not familiar with this type of business, here’s a short explanation: Dropshipping is an online business model that enables you, as a seller, to sell products without the obligation to ship them or stock the products on your own. Basically, your role is to list a wholesaler’s product on Amazon, eBay, or your own dropship website and find the right audience for it. When it comes to reverse dropshipping, it’s an even newer business model and as such, unfamiliar to many online sellers. So if you’re wondering “What is reverse dropshipping?” that’s the next topic we’ll cover in our SmallBizGenius guide. Reverse Dropshipping Definition Reverse dropshipping is a business model in which online sellers procure high-quality products for customers whose countries usually house mass-production sites, like China, Indonesia, etc. Products sold through reverse dropshipping are made in the US, UK, or other countries which usually outsource their mass production to Asian countries. If you are wondering why an industry giant like China is a hotspot for reverse dropshipping sellers, there’s a logical explanation. Many Chinese consumers are seeking fine products, but finding them inside their own country is difficult. The result of China’s high-production level is lower quality for most domestically made products. Therefore, Chinese consumers, especially the rich ones, must find other ways to buy products that would satisfy their expensive taste. If we want a more precise reverse dropshipping definition, we would say that a reverse dropship means buying high-quality products produced in the West, and selling them to wealthy, primarily Asian customers through your eCommerce website. Reverse dropshipping is a business model similar to regular dropshipping, with one significant difference. Instead of obtaining lots of poor-quality stuff that comes at a lower cost, reverse dropshipping companies procure top-notch, artisanal products. Hence, when it works, reverse dropshipping comes with much higher margins. How Reverse Dropshipping Works We introduced the basics of reverse dropshipping, meaning that the next thing we will explain is how it works. Generally, if you know how regular dropshipping works, you won’t have any problem understanding the concept of reverse dropshipping. The only thing you need to have in mind is that reverse dropshipping involves expensive and high-quality products produced in Western countries that are sold to rich Asian customers. As an owner of a dropshipping company, you will collaborate with domestic dropshipping suppliers. They will be responsible for manufacturing and storing products, packing them, and distributing orders to your customers. On your website, you will create a gallery with the products, set the price for them, and manage the inventory. You will be responsible for advertising your offer and finding customers. For example, you can choose a product available on eBay, Etsy, or some other eCommerce platform and sell it on your site. You’ll need to set a price that will cover both the dropshipping supplier’s price and marketing costs, and bring you profit. For example, if a product you choose to sell costs $30 when bought wholesale, you can display it in your store for $75. The wealthy customer will order a product from your site and pay your price. Then, you forward the order to your manufacturer and pay the wholesale price, keeping the rest as profit. Your manufacturer will be in charge of distribution. You can decide if you’ll leave the shipping costs with the customers, or pay them yourself. Dropshipping Pros and Cons If you’re asking yourself: “Is dropshipping worth it?” the answer is yes. In 2020, China purchased $99.9 billion-worth of goods and services from the US. There are lots of reasons why you should choose reverse dropshipping over regular dropshipping. One of the most important reasons is that reverse dropshipping comes with higher margins. A regular dropshipping business works with low-quality products which are cheap for you to buy, but also cheap when sold. Reverse dropshipping sellers work with high-quality products and rich customers willing to pay more than someone ordering pants in bulk from Wish. Another good reason to choose reverse dropshipping over traditional dropshipping is a less competitive market. If you decide to open a dropshipping service, you will have only a few competitors, as this niche section of eCommerce has yet to fully develop. However, you need to be more prepared than when entering a regular dropshipping business, meaning that you’ll need to know everything about the trading laws and regulations of the countries you’ll ship from and to. For example, many countries have strict policies on which products can be sold. In some countries, people can buy food and beverages only from domestic suppliers. There are also country-specific rules when it comes to selling medication. If you consider starting a business with food, drugs, or alcoholic drinks, reverse dropshipping is not the kind of business model that will be good for you. Bottom Line In our opinion, reverse dropshipping is a good option for business owners ready to find the right buyer for high-end products and find dropshipping sources that are allowed to operate in Asian countries. Especially now, while the market is still very far from saturated, getting into reverse dropshipping may just be the best move an aspiring eCommerce businessperson can make.
About Danica Jovic
Danica’s greatest passion is writing. From small businesses, tech, and digital marketing, to academic folklore analysis, movie reviews, and anthropology — she’s done it all. A literature major with a passion for business, software, and fun new gadgets, she has turned her writing craft into a profitable blogging business. When she’s not writing for SmallBizGenius, Danica enjoys hiking, trying to perfect her burger-making skills, and dreaming about vacations in Greece.
If you have an online shop, you know that one of the most important things for clients is reliable shipping. Various helpful website-building tools can help you create an eye-catching site, but you also need to adopt some eCommerce shipping best practices to ensure a great shopping experience for your customers. Their shopping journey starts on your website, but it ends up once their order arrives. If you don’t provide your customers with the shopping experience that they expect, you might end up with lots of cart abandonments and a lower number of orders. Eventually, you might even lose your regular clients. Establishing a good shipping strategy is crucial for your online business if you want to increase customer satisfaction and convert more leads into buyers. But putting a successful online shipping strategy in place is not always an easy thing to do. Many business owners think that free shipping is all you need, but it’s not simple. It’s an integral part of a consumer-friendly eCommerce shipping strategy, but far from being the only thing you should worry about. Successful online stores employ more sophisticated business strategies. Good delivery practices include the engagement of the different teams inside the company, collaboration with reliable carriers, friendly customer support, and so on. Establishing reliable shipping strategies can be complicated, especially if you are new in the business. Our article will help you understand this topic better, introducing basic shipping strategies for the successful delivery of your products. We’ll explain how you can benefit from different shipping methods, choose carriers, reduce shipping costs, and perform order tracking. Additionally, we’ll share some tricks and tips that can help you streamline your shipping process and boost customer satisfaction rates. Shipping Methods and Rates The first you need to know regarding eCommerce delivery strategy are the shipping methods and rates. Although free eCommerce shipping is praised as a solution for boosting clients’ satisfaction, there are also other methods that you can use to increase satisfaction rates. Let’s start with free shipping and then discuss the other shipping options. Free shipping According to the latest statistics, 90% of customers say that free shipping is the main reason they choose to shop online. Furthermore, over 60% of prospective buyers abandon shipping carts if there are shipping costs. Therefore, free shipping is a must if you want to stay competitive. We all know that free shipping is not really free, meaning that someone has to pay for it. Either your customers will pay more for the products, or you will have lower profit margins after covering the shipping costs yourself. The best eCommerce shipping method is offering free shipping to your customers but only when they meet specific requirements. You can set up an order limit for free shipping. For example, Amazon enables free shipping for orders over $25. This way, you may be able to cover shipping losses by getting customers to buy slightly more than they otherwise would have. Be transparent Let’s say that you just started your online business, and you are not in a position to offer free shipping. It doesn’t need to impact your customer satisfaction rates if you do things right. Firstly, you need to be honest with your customers. If your shipping is not free, you need to be clear about that. eCommerce shipping costs best practices are to set up shipping prices transparently, so your customers won’t have an unpleasant surprise when they complete their order. Some people won't mind paying shipping costs if they are clearly informed about them at the beginning of their purchase. However, you can expect many clients to abandon the shopping cart if they can’t see the fees from the start. We recommend adding the cost of shipment for each product to your shopping cart. Almost all eCommerce platforms (such as Shopify or Wix) have this option available. After your customers add the ZIP code, the shipping fees will instantly show up in the cart. There will be no surprises, so your customer will be far more likely to go through with their order. Make the delivery date visible The best eCommerce shipping solutions show clients the expected delivery date for their products. Just as you should be transparent with the delivery costs, you should also tell your customers when they can expect their order to arrive. The delivery time can differ depending on the chosen shipping method, order date, and more. You should be transparent and show this information during the checkout procedure because 80% of customers will abandon their shopping cart if they don’t know when their order will arrive. Offer flat-rate shipping Another strategy that you can adopt is flat-rate shipping. This is an option for an unchanging fee, often used for products that are similar in size or weight. You should still show the shipping costs, as per our suggestion above. However, it’s not a great choice for businesses that sell vastly different products in terms of shape, size, weight, and price. Team Collaboration If you want to keep your customers satisfied, the eCommerce best practices for 2021 show that you need to cover all segments of the customers’ purchasing journey. This means collaboration between different teams and departments, including marketing, designers, web developers, customer service, and the shipping fulfillment team. The marketing team and developers will work closely together on communicating shipping and product promotions to the customers. Both team knowledge and tools can contribute to streamlining this process. While the marketing team researches which product you should promote, the web developers will help you implement the promotions on the pages that customers visit the most, and software can quickly tell you when and why customers gave up on their orders. With both domestic and international shipping, for eCommerce best practices to really work, you’ll need a good team for order fulfillment. You can work with a third-party company or have an in-house team that uses order fulfillment software. Regardless of the option you choose, ensure that your team will do the work responsibly. It has to be prepared to pack, label, and ship items on time. This team is also responsible for the possible returns. Lastly, every business requires good customer service, and the same goes for eCommerce stores. The customer service will communicate with your clients directly through phone, email, or live chat, so it’s extremely important to have reliable and knowledgeable people on this team. Carrier Options Speaking of eCommerce shipping strategies, one of the most important ones is choosing the right carrier. Three large companies provide eCommerce delivery services: FedEx, UPS, and USPS. The type of product you are selling can help you in decision-making because different carriers are good for different product types and particular types of shipping options. Some are better for international shipments, while others might excel at shipping clunky and oversized products. You also need to decide whether you’ll have one or more carriers. Choosing one is simpler, but it doesn’t provide you the freedom and flexibility that having more than one would. eCommerce shipping solutions with multiple carriers are usually in a better position when negotiating shipping rates and costs. Having multiple carriers is also a good idea because if one of the companies closes down or doesn’t work for some other reason, you’ll always have others to ship the products. Additionally, if you offer different types of shipping products, it’s better to have several carriers at your disposal. Some of them may provide more efficient eCommerce international shipping solutions, while others will offer great delivery services across the US. Delivery Updates Every customer prefers to know in which phase of delivery their package is, so you’ll need to provide your customers with a reliable tracking system. This way, you will build trust between the company and its clients. The success of this functionality depends on which inventory management system you use, but it’s generally not too complicated to set up. All good delivery solutions for eCommerce will have an order tracking service. It’s especially important for companies that do business overseas. International orders have longer delivery periods, so your clients might become nervous if they cannot check the status of their order. Over 80% of customers claim that they value online shops that provide information regarding fulfillment and delivery stage for their packages. Taking Responsibility Although lost and damaged packages are not your fault, they are still your responsibility because your clients will not be satisfied with the service they paid you for. The order and shipping best practices for eCommerce recommend that sellers resolve lost or damaged packages. After all, a seller is the one who chose a carrier that did not manage to deliver the shipment successfully. The first thing you should do is react as soon as possible once a shipping problem is reported. To be efficient, you can immediately check the shipment status online and see where the order is. Also, it’s smart to check if a customer’s address is written correctly. Problems like these are easy to solve, and your customers will be satisfied that you’re taking the initiative and helping resolve the issue in a timely manner. Good shipping strategies for eCommerce include quick and honest communication between a retailer and carrier. Once the customer reports a problem with a delivery, you should contact the carrier and see whether the item is delivered or not. Your carrier should tell you all that you need to know about the delivery status. We recommend being persistent with a carrier to find out what happened with an order. If the order is definitely lost or damaged, then you should send a new package to your customers. Do that as soon as possible to keep your customers satisfied. Tips and Tricks Assembling a good shipping team, providing reasonable eCommerce shipping costs, and having good customer support are all part of a good shipment strategy. In addition to these, you can adopt many other methods that will keep your customers satisfied and help you manage your budget more efficiently. Here are some more things you can do: Pack your products properly Before shipping a product to your customer, you need to package it properly to keep it safe from transport damages. There are several shipping options at your disposal, depending on your product type and area of delivery. There are different types of envelopes and boxes, made from materials that protect your product during transportation. You could also consider a reverse dropshipping service if selling high-quality products to customers outside the US. eCommerce shipping options for packages depend on the size and weight of your product. You should keep your packages light and small because the size or weight of the box will also determine the price. If you have several products in different sizes and shapes, consider having separate packages for each of them. Use local delivery We already explained the benefits of having multiple carriers. Additionally, you can add a local delivery company to your carrier list. It’s a proven delivery method, and many small businesses use it to ship items to their local clients. Set the area for your local delivery by adding zip or postal codes. This way, your customers will be able to select it during the checkout. If you want to provide the best shipping for eCommerce, keep the local delivery free for at least some of your products. Get insurance In addition to tracking orders, many carriers offer shipping insurance. This is a good practice to secure your products during delivery. In most cases, insurance is not too expensive. eCommerce shipping companies like UPS and USPS Priority Mail already include coverage for products up to $100. Also, when you pick shipping for eCommerce, check if product insurance is already included in the eCommerce shipping rates. We recommend using insurance for expensive packages that may get lost or damaged. Bottom Line Shipping is an essential part of any online shop that sells physical items. As a retailer, you will face challenges when it comes to implementing eCommerce shipping strategies. Eventually, you will find what’s best for your online store. Before that happens, just take some time to check what works for your customers. Implementing eCommerce shipping solutions that fit your business will help you keep your customers, achieve low cart abandonment rates, and increase profits.
Writing press releases is not as easy as you might think, especially if you want to do it while following the Associated Press (AP) guidelines. There are lots of things to be aware of, from punctuation to the text formatting and creating a short “about you” paragraph (boilerplate). You also need to think about your audience - not only journalists and editors but also people interested in your company’s services or products. Therefore, before you even start writing the news about your company, be sure to know how to do it properly. We are here to help you write a press release format in AP style, but before we do that, here’s a short introduction to the AP writing style. What is AP Style Writing? AP style is a writing style for journalists, magazines, and news set by the Associated Press news agency. Although some magazines (like New York Times) have their own publishing styles, AP style is considered an essential guide for journalists and editors or anyone else who wants to publish news. Like other style guidelines, AP style ensures that articles are formatted uniformly, regardless of who writes them. AP style writing rules are published in the AP stylebook. In this book, you can see the standards for text presentation, including news and press releases. A press release using AP style includes numerous rules, and we are going to explain the most important ones here: Serial Comma Unlike Oxford style, AP style doesn’t allow the use of the serial comma. That means that the comma in AP style doesn't go after the last item in a list. The usage of commas is often a matter of style, but if you write magazine articles and news, AP style requires you to follow this rule. Punctuation Don’t use a double space after a period if you write following the Associated Press writing style. The style requires a one-space rule after a period. Numbers It might be easy to forget, so always check how you write numbers in articles formatted using the AP style. According to the Associated Press style guide, numbers between one and nine must be spelled, and you can use numerals past the number ten (10). By following the AP style, time should be written in numbers instead of words. For example, you should write “3 p.m.” instead of “three o’clock in the afternoon.” Dates When it comes to dates, there are a few rules to memorize. Firstly, you should use numbers to write dates. Secondly, the abbreviation applies only for months that are more than five letters long. Fonts We know that there are a lot of attractive fonts to use but stick to standard ones. Editors will not be impressed with this type of experiment, especially if they follow standard AP style rules. Times New Roman is the standard font that you should use. AP style press release format sets the rules for font size too. The font size is also standardized and can be one point apart in size. If your headline is 14, the subheadings should be 13. The body of your text would then be size 12. Perspective Never use a first-person perspective in your article; you are a journalist, not a bard. AP style requires news and articles written in third-person only. Capitalization AP style headline capitalization means that all headlines and subheadings have to be written in the title case. How to write an AP style press release Before starting to write a press release, make sure that you know five W’s or five questions all journalists must be able to answer. These questions are the core of any news piece, and if you know how to ask and answer them, you may rest assured that you are providing adequate information to your audience. The answers to these questions summarize what your piece is about, and you should answer them in the first paragraph of the text. After that, you can add details to flesh out your press release. These are the questions to answer: Who is involved? The answer should include information about the topic of the article. When writing news, writers should establish the subject (individual, company), and if it’s a press release, it should be about the company doing the press release. What happened? Explain what the piece is about briefly. For example, if your business is launching a new product, write about it. When did it happen? AP press news should provide information about the timing of the event - when did the event you are writing about happen, or when will it happen? Where did it happen? As with time, readers should be told where the event that’s talked about is happening/has happened/will happen. Why did it happen? It is a straightforward question, but sometimes it can be challenging to answer. You need to explain why your news is important for your readers. Answer these questions briefly but accurately so your audience will get all the necessary information in the first paragraph. It is important to be short and direct in this first paragraph because many readers won’t read the rest of the article. Identify Your Audience Another thing you need to do is identify who your AP press release readers are. Once you find out who your target audience is (that means not only editors and journalists but your customers or followers), you need to find a way to grab their attention. See what your readers are interested in, what their values are, what businesses they trust. You also need to research the demographic of your audience, including their age, gender, location, etc. As you can see, creating a press release involves more than just getting the press release formatting right. For this reason, many businesses use press release distribution services. Aside from disseminating your news through the most popular media outlets, press release distribution companies will create and edit your press release, too. Provide Press Release Instructions Your AP style news release should include the time and date when you want your news to be published. If your story is ready for publishing, type the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” On the other hand, if you have an embargoed press release (a release that is not ready for immediate publishing), write “EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL,” followed by the time and date when you want it published. Include Contact Information When it comes to formatting a press release, don’t forget to include the contact details (name, phone number, email address) of the person who can provide more information about the press release content. Write your AP style press release dateline in the top left corner of the press release. Write the Press Release Headline The next thing you need to do is to write a headline. The press release headline is positioned at the top center of the page, and it shouldn't be more than 80 characters long. It has to be eye-catchy to grab the readers’ attention. The subhead is located below the headline. It can be longer than the headline and may include up to 120 characters that explain the content in your headline. Both the AP headline and subhead should include keywords that boost the visibility of your press release. There are also other things that you can do when writing an Associated Press style press release headline. For example, you can search for a story already in the news and connect it with your piece somehow. This practice is also called “newsjacking.” Our advice is to use the present tense when you write the headline. It will attract your readers if the headline is exciting and catchy-sounding. The Lead The lead has to be short and to the point but still interesting. It’s the first paragraph of your press release, and it should be at least 60 characters long. You should also add the date when you want your press release to go live and the location your release originates from. This is an example of the date and location information for the press release (format AP): Phoenix, Ariz. (October 20, 2021) The date and location have to be bolded, and you need to use AP style for the state abbreviation. The lead is the first thing journalists will read, so it has to summarize the most important things about the news you want to share. In this part of your press release, you need to answer the five W’s. Write Your Boilerplate The boilerplate or the “about” section is another important part of the standard press release format. It’s placed at the bottom of the statement and includes information about your business, such as your company history and values, awards, further plans, and anything else that is relevant for your audience. If you follow the AP format for the press release, this section shouldn’t be longer than 100 words. For example, if your business offers legal services, the boilerplate should talk about your company’s years in business, awards, and any of the company’s accomplishments. Choose the Media Outlets That You Want to Send Your Press Release After you finish your press release creation, you need to decide where you want to send it. You will be in a position to choose among hundreds of media outlets, and sometimes it can be really difficult to decide where to publish the press release in AP style. You should choose wisely because media outlets receive hundreds of press releases daily, and not all of them will publish yours. Also, pick those media outlets that target your audience. For example, if you’re opening a pet-friendly restaurant, send your press release to food and beverage and pet magazines. Choose How You Want to Distribute Your Press Release The distribution of your press releases is the next step after you format them in accordance with the AP style. There are several ways to spread the AP press release. For example, you can send the press release to journalists, bloggers, and influencers with whom you are already connected. Aside from the direct outreach, you can send the news to numerous media outlets to get wider media exposure. To do this, you will need to use press release distribution services. Alternatively, you can try to send your press release to journals and magazines on your own, but there’s no guarantee that they will publish it. It’s always a good idea to publish your press release on your website. This will increase the overall visibility of your company. Some website creators offer the option to add the press release page and publish the AP press release format with a few simple clicks. Also, don’t forget to share your media statement on social media channels so your followers can see it.
Both demand generation and lead generation are highly valuable marketing strategies that businesses need to employ in order to generate new leads and boost their customer base. In other words, a lead generation effort cannot be effective without a demand generation component. As such, the demand generation vs. lead generation comparison can sometimes get a little confusing. But even though these two strategies work towards the same goal, they are fundamentally different. In a nutshell, demand generation involves activities that build awareness about your service or product, whereas its counterpart is tasked with turning that interest into leads. In an effort to dispel some of the confusion, our guide delves deeper into the main characteristics of both strategies. What Is Demand Generation? Demand generation or demand gen is the process of getting the public interested in your company’s products and/or services. The idea is to develop a targeted marketing program that drives awareness of what your business is offering and draws visitors to your website. Most people think that this comes down solely to improving the visibility of your content on different social media channels. However, a big part of demand generation is helping your target audience identify problems and then offering your service as the solution. For example, a demand generation strategy targeting small business owners who are uncomfortable with the idea of being their own bookkeeper will highlight the importance of focusing on growing one’s business while passing off this ‘confusing’ and ‘overwhelming’ task to bookkeeping service providers. Demand generation, or rather awareness, is on top of every sales funnel, followed by lead generation strategies. Think about it as the starting point of a consumer’s journey through the sales funnel. Demand generation content comes in a variety of forms, including influencer posts that show how effective your services are or sharing free tools and articles. It’s important to note that B2B demand generation content is non-gated, meaning that your audience doesn’t need to provide personal information in order to engage with it. What Is Lead Generation? Unlike demand gen, which focuses on calling attention to the need for your product/service, lead generation activities seek to convert your audience into leads. If implemented properly, the combination of lead generation and demand generation will bring in new clients and boost your consumer base. Lead generation is built on demand gen marketing strategies. If your company has a successful demand generation program, the big pool of potential prospects is then directed to the lead generation team that will nurture them into leads. Lead generation relies on strategies that include collecting names and contact details from the audience that show some interest in the company’s services. The contact creation process in the case of lead generation marketing involves free webinars and tutorials, product guides, whitepapers, ebooks, free trials, and other content that visitors can get access to if they disclose their personal details. The Difference Between Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen A B2B marketing strategy that blends demand gen and lead gen components enables the company’s sales team to convert more leads into prospective buyers and thus increase revenue. But if your business uses both strategies without knowing the purpose of each, you’ll probably end up with a poor audience pool. Even though demand gen and lead gen are similar processes and work hand in hand, businesses must acknowledge the clear distinction between the two in order to implement a successful funnel strategy. In the lead generation vs demand generation comparison, the key difference comes down to the content being used. When it comes to demand generation, the purpose of the content is to generate brand awareness and capture an audience interested in the company’s products and services. The content created for lead generation is lead-oriented, and its purpose is to turn the audience into leads. Simply put, demand generation produces content that is focused on demand, while lead generation produces content that’s focused on collecting information about leads. Another key difference between demand generation vs lead generation is the marketing funnel and the way targeting is used in both cases. The most important thing to identify is the distinction between people who don’t know about your products or services and those familiar with your brand. Demand generation is not about creating content that will reach as many people as possible but creating brand awareness and reaching those who actually might be interested in your products and services, and thus, most likely to become leads. In the demand creation vs lead generation comparison, content promotion is also different. Demand generation programs don’t pay for sharing content with people who are familiar with the brand. Once you have a base of people who know about your products and services, lead generation programs enter the fray. Bottom Line If you want to run a successful marketing campaign, both demand gen and lead gen strategies must be incorporated. It’s pointless to drive the right traffic to your site if you don’t have the necessary tools for lead conversions and following up with prospective clients. And although these two components work towards the same objective, it’s important to remember that they play uniquely distinct roles in the sales process.
Silicon Valley startup, Gatik, secured $85 million in its latest funding round. The investment cycle was led by Koch Industries, and this cash infusion will play a vital role in the startup's expansion. The money will go towards expanding its operations, hiring new staff, and increasing its truck fleet. Since its founding in 2017, Gatik has raised $114.5 million. The startup already has well-developed robotic truck operations for hauling consumer goods and groceries for Walmart in Arkansas and Louisiana and Loblaw supermarkets in Toronto. The company suggested that it will be spreading its network to include Texas. Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik, says that the new financing enables better scaling for the company: “The way we look at the business, the technology, the companies we work with, we have all the key components in place.” The funding will be giving this company “a runway of at least two and a half, three years," Narang added. Gatik's revenue is also on the rise, so it seems like there is no pressure on the team to pursue any alternative investment sources, bigger rounds, or to go public. “We have meaningful revenue coming in. Last year we did revenue in the millions, and this year, we are projecting to increase that by 400% year over year,” Narang disclosed. Koch Disruptive Technologies - the venture branch of Koch Industries - was accompanied in the funding round by existing investors, such as Innovation Endeavors, FM Capital, Dynamo Ventures, and Intact Ventures. Trucking and delivery services, one of the fastest-developing areas of the autonomous driving industry, are on track to generate their highest revenue in the next couple of years. Gatik's delivery method relies on repetitive routes, and minimizing variables allows for its success. Other companies, such as TuSimple, that focus on longer routes, still have ways to go in terms of testing and further improvement. Since the company has already made some of its trucks in Arkansas fully driverless, Gatik plans to expand its fleet five times by 2023. “These are not one-off demos or one-time runs. We are doing these runs repeatedly on public roads,” Narang said. “On the technology front, we are at a point where we have validated the technology in one market, and now the focus is to scale from here.”