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Our Investment in Route – and Utah!


AUTHOR: John Torrey | January 24, 2022

I’m sure that when the good people at the Utah Office of Tourism created the State’s “Life Elevated” slogan, they were mindful of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s timeless observation: “life is a journey, not a destination.”  Utah is on an incredible journey of building and innovating.  The home to category creators like Josh James (Domo, Omniture), Blake Murray (Divvy), and Ryan Smith (Qualtrics), who recently described his home state as“a full-on startup,”  businesses in the state saw unprecedented venture investing activity in 2021.  We, at Madrona,  believe that this region will continue to foster world-class companies, and I’m excited to announce today our second portfolio company headquartered in Utah –  the breakthrough e-commerce company, Route

E-commerce and the ability of brands to compete for and serve their customers has been front and center for the past 20 years and, in particular, for the last two years.  During that time, the industry has been transformed from a progressively growing sector of retail to a core part of not just the economy, but of consumers’ lives.  eMarketer estimates that e-commerce will increase from 15% of retail activity in 2021 to 24% in 2025. This is no surprise to Madrona – we have been believing in and investing in e-commerce from our earliest days, backing Amazon’s Series A, and continuing with innovative companies including Redfin, Indochino, Flexe and CrowdCow. 

With the combination of these market dynamics, Madrona’s belief in the digital transformation of consumer experiences, and an experienced and inspiring founding team, we are excited to support Route’s journey with hard work and capital from Acceleration Fund 2.   The company, led by a team that includes former Qualtrics executives, has been on a growth tear since its founding three years ago and announced its $200 million Series B fundraise with a $1.25 billion valuation today. 

Route is a direct-to-consumer platform that is powering eCommerce de-centralization by providing Amazon Prime-like amenities while enabling merchants to stay on brand.  Route helps consumers automate the post-purchase experience, using AI/ML to provide consumers with the peace of mind that their purchases are on the way – and protected every step of the way.  And, Route automates white-glove resolution of delivery issues for consumers. For the merchants that consumers love, Route is a discovery platform that highlights consumers’ favorite brands and powers curated shopping experiences.   

So, for consumers and merchants alike, Route is “Life Elevated.  

Welcome to the Madrona family, Evan, Mike, Ryan, Charlie and team!  

The sky atop Red’s Lift at Sundance Mountain Resort at right typifies Utah: Life Elevated. 

 

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