Meet Evan Walker: The Indiana Jones of E-Commerce

Evan Walker

Article presented by Runway Influence

Thinking of Indiana Jones immediately conjures up an image of the world’s treasures. Like a real-life Indiana Jones, Evan Walker is a passionate traveler and collector of artifacts and treasures, with items in his collection from Egypt to Bali, Indonesia, and Italy. Walker is the adventure-seeking tech CEO of Route, a billion-dollar company he thought of while on his travels.

With the e-commerce industry reaching a record high, businesses have more leverage to fill the gaps where pitfalls arise. For example, shipping has always been challenging for small and mid-level brands. From exorbitant charges to delayed arrivals and sometimes lost or damaged items, businesses often suffer significant losses in support costs for shipment. With Walker’s company, Route, this will soon be history for e-commerce brands worldwide. Route is a free delivery app for online orders, making shipments more secure and punctual.

The idea for Route was born 5 years ago after one of Walker’s visits to Florence, Italy. In a side-alley antique store, Walker spotted a vintage steamer trunk he wanted to ship home to the states. The merchant refused to ship it, fearing loss or damage to the antique. Instead of struggling with the genuine logistical problem, Walker came up with a brilliant business idea that culminated in Route.

Walker wanted to devise a solution where the world’s items, from any merchant, could move freely across the globe with full protection from loss or damage while shoppers could track them every step of the way. Route has emerged as a way to connect millions of customers with merchants who can ship their products worry-free to any place in the world. That was the foundation for Route, which became a 1.25-billion-dollar business in 2021, almost three years after its launch.

Route is a free app that aggregates everything you order online and provides real-time updates on its shipment status and location, like what a map does for treasure seekers. With Route, you know exactly when your order will arrive or if there’s been any delay. For brands and merchants with large e-commerce businesses, Route is a platform that offers a suite of post-purchase offerings, including shipping insurance, product discovery, and carbon-neutral shipping.

Over the years, Route has grown exponentially, attracting top-tier investors, including VCs, brand founders, and celebrities. This list is made up of names like Mark Wahlberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jared Leto. Activations at Art Basel and New York Fashion Week have also led to Route attracting further attention from rising-star, purpose-driven brands, and with Route’s Green Package Protection, it is attracting the attention of fashion brands, including Rebecca Minkoff, EB Denim, and Logan Hollowell, whose aim is to develop sustainable fashion.

For a long time, e-commerce giants have highlighted their superior shipping and secured delivery of products. Now, Route will change this by connecting small and mid-level brands and their consumers by providing one-click order resolution and carbon-neutral shipping. To date, Route has earned millions of active online users, tracked over 100 million packages, and worked with over 12K merchants.

As an avid traveler, Evan Walker describes how it gives him perspective and inspiration, making him a more critical product builder. Walker isn’t your typical CEO and is involved “in the trenches” with Route. With a history of successful business ventures and after selling his first company at 19 for millions, being a serial entrepreneur isn’t what drives Walker—creating things that no one has ever experienced before is. And this is exactly what he has done with Route by delivering a product that is not only built for everyone but something they find they cannot live without while connecting brands and consumers more deeply, despite the digital divide.

 

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