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Logistics Unicorn ShipBob Taps Big Law for First Legal Chief

Aug. 18, 2021, 9:32 AM

ShipBob Inc., a startup specializing in e-commerce logistics that recently reached unicorn status, has made Goodwin Procter senior associate Rahul Magan its first-ever legal hire.

Magan joined Chicago-based ShipBob as its vice president of legal earlier this month after spending five years in the corporate and technology transactions practice at Goodwin Procter in Redwood City, Calif. Magan confirmed his new role when reached by email.

ShipBob provides software and other services to help e-commerce companies improve operations. The company works with online shopping giants like Amazon.com Inc., Shopify Inc., and Walmart Inc.

Magan’s hire comes after ShipBob raised $200 million in a Series E funding round in late June led by Bain Capital Ventures that doubled the company’s valuation, pushing it above the $1 billion mark and making it a unicorn.

ShipBob, which is also backed by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. and other investors, said the influx of capital will allow it to add 10 new fulfillment centers to its network.

Magan declined to identify the law firm advising ShipBob on its fundraising efforts.

ShipBob, founded in 2014, has raised $268 million within the past year as the coronavirus pandemic turbocharged the e-commerce market by accelerating a need for online shopping and last-mile delivery services.

Barnes & Thornburg, which handled some of ShipBob’s initial capital raisings, has also done litigation and trademark work for the company, according to public records.

More Legal Moves

Magan isn’t the only Big Law refugee to reap the benefits of the e-commerce boom by moving in-house to startup companies strengthened by Covid-19’s effect on retail.

The Midwest, particularly in ShipBob’s hometown of Chicago, has become a busy market for lawyers working in the emerging companies space. Bloomberg Law reported earlier this year on Cooley setting up shop in the Windy City to capitalize on its burgeoning startup scene.

Groupon Inc., which saw one of its go-to outside lawyers join Cooley, brought on Squire Patton Boggs litigation associate Zarish Baig in June to be its Chicago-based senior counsel for global privacy. Groupon also hired senior corporate counsel Matthew Finkelstein in July from Sidley Austin, where he was a corporate associate.

Bringg Delivery Technologies Inc., an Israeli logistics startup that’s headquartered in Chicago and Tel Aviv, raised $100 million in June to also reach unicorn status. Bringg, whose investors include the venture capital arm of Salesforce.com Inc., promoted Chicago-based legal counsel Michael Cohen to vice president of legal in February.

ChannelAdvisor Corp., a Morrisville, N.C.-based e-commerce company that provides automation services to retailers, announced earlier this year that its general counsel, Diana Allen, would step down June 1 and transition into a senior advisory role. Kathryn Twiddy, a former U.S. general counsel at Mayne Pharma Group Ltd., was hired to succeed Allen as ChannelAdvisor’s legal chief.

Fabric, a startup e-commerce platform that Bloomberg News reported was valued at $850 million in July, also hired a new legal chief this year in Krupa Shah. The latter left Adtalem Global Education Inc., an education technology company where she was senior director for strategic initiatives, to become general counsel and head of partnerships for Bellevue, Wash.-based Fabric in February.

Tienda Nube, an Argentine e-commerce startup that Bloomberg News reported this week saw its valuation hit $3.1 billion as it expands throughout Latin America, added ex-Uber Technologies Inc. senior counsel and Brazilian head of litigation Pamela Meneguetti as its legal director in April. The company is called Nuvemshop in Brazil but goes by Tienda Nube—“cloud store” in English—in Spanish-speaking countries.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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