San Francisco-based Seel, which offers insurance for e-commerce companies, has raised $17m in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to $23.6m, according to a report from TechCrunch.
The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors including Foundation Capital, Afore Capital and West Loop Ventures.
Founded in 2019, Seel specialises in underwriting e-commerce returns, and aims to give merchants more control over this.
The company leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to build proprietary underwriting software that uses hundreds of signals to predict the probability of return as soon as an order is placed.
Seel employs about 25 people and has grown from zero to over 100 customers in just four months following a major pivot as the startup was formerly known as Kover, an income protection offering to the gig economy.
Zach Peng, co-founder explained that after an order is sold, merchants can add “return assurance” to that order and transfer the liability of return to Seel. If the order is returned in the next 30 days, Seel, instead of the merchant, will pay for the refunds, he said. Shoppers themselves can add the assurance for a small fee at checkout to make items, like ones the merchant isn’t offering the service, returnable.
He added, “Merchants typically won’t know their true revenue until the return window expires six to eight weeks after an order is sold… That means they often have to reconcile refunds, correct financials and adjust marketing plans for orders sold weeks ago. Instead, they can pay a variable return assurance fee when an order is sold, and instantly lock in the net revenue and streamline a significant amount of revenue operations.”
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