Guided by WunWun founder Lee Hnetinka, Darkstore is an emerging force in the same-day delivery fulfillment sphere. As described by Lee Hnetinka, the Darkstore model is directly influenced by disruptors such as Uber and Airbnb in serving as an efficient, responsive fulfillment provider that does not actually run a fulfillment center.
In a TechCrunch article, Mr. Hnetinka detailed a platform with a unique system in place that does not charge for inventory storage but rather places a 3 percent fee on all items shipped. The minimum charge is $2, with a $20 maximum. For example, when Tuft & Needle customers purchase a $750 mattress through the San Francisco showroom, Darkstore charges $20 for that item as it goes out the door.
In order to enable same-day fulfillment in San Francisco, Darkstore initially partnered with Storage SF in finding a way of quadrupling its per-square-foot revenues while providing customer-first fulfillment solutions. They created a win-win 70/30 revenue-sharing model, with the startup giving 70 percent of the 3 percent it charges to the storage facility as each item ships.
As the founding chief executive officer of Darkstore, Lee Hnetinka provides third-party shipping services to consumers who are eager to receive their favorite brand-name products by mail as quickly as possible. Outside of the professional environment, Lee Hnetinka enjoys practicing Bikram Yoga.
A specific form of “hot yoga,” Bikram yoga dates back to the 1970s, when Bikram Choudhury first popularized it in California. This patented practice involves repeating 26 poses in cyclical sets over the course of a standard 90-minute class.
Most Bikram yoga classrooms are heated and kept at relatively high humidity. The temperatures of these classrooms often reach as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit and humidly levels are typically set at around 40 percent.
Advocates of Bikram yoga have reported deriving many distinct benefits, including improved blood and oxygen flow, increased flexibility, and enhanced weight loss. Although most scientists insist that most toxins are filtered out of the body by the liver and kidneys rather than through sweating, Bikram practitioners often report health benefits from sweating out various contaminants.
A graduate of the University of Buffalo, Lee Hnetinka holds a bachelor of science in marketing. Lee Hnetinka leverages his training to serve as the CEO of Darkstore, an on-demand delivery fulfillment center provider.
Darkstore provides e-commerce brands access to local fulfillment centers to store their inventory. Through Darkstore locations in New York City, Phoenix, and San Francisco, online retailers are able to offer customers same-day and even one-hour shipping that would be too costly for them to provide on their own. The company stands out as the only third-party logistics provider (3PL) to work with last-mile delivery companies, such as Deliv and UberRUSH, which deliver merchandise from Darkstore’s fulfillment centers to customers.
As part of an expansion plan for Darkstore, Mr. Hnetinka raised $1.4 million in seed money in April 2017 in order to penetrate the Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles markets. The funding came from PivotNorth Capital, whose general partner, Tim Connors, has joined Darkstore’s board of directors. Connors brings to this role a strong understanding of the market and a shared vision to give all retailers the opportunity to provide affordable delivery.
A cofounder and the CEO of Darkstore, Lee Hnetinka helps e-commerce brands deliver goods quickly and efficiently. Based in New York City, Lee Hnetinka maintains a passion for food and enjoys eating at the many of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants. While many people think Michelin-starred restaurants are out of their price range, there are several affordable options in New York City.
Even those on a budget can enjoy Le Bernardin, one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, by going for lunch during the week. Although the three-course lunch tasting varies each week, it is generally under $50, some of which goes to City Harvest.
Similarly, Gotham Bar and Grill becomes very affordable during lunch hours, when the most expensive entree is $27. Alternatively, some may prefer the dining establishment’s $38 greenmarket lunch, a three-course meal made from ingredients purchased at the Union Square farmer’s market.
La Vara in Brooklyn features some of the city’s best tapas. The key to an affordable meal here is going with friends. Two people can easily fill up on five dishes for a total cost of about $35 per person. More friends mean more selections, of course. Some must-try dishes include the roasted suckling pig and the spiced chickpeas.