An all-digital freight forwarder based in Berlin has secured $20 million in Series A funding, underscoring the pace at which logistics operations are moving online. In an era where major forwarding operations mostly have their own sophisticated internal digital forwarding software, FreightHub’s represents an alternative business model, one that benefits from an asset-light approach that uses B2B relationships to ferret out inefficiencies across a wide network of partners.
In less than two years – FreightHub was launched in early 2016 – the company has acquired more than 650 customers.
FreightHub digitalizes customer acquisition with a sales process that uses online channels and screen sharing, rather than door-to-door sales. That’s a departure from the traditional model, one that forwarders have maintained adds an interpersonal value to their services. However, CEO Ferry Heilemann maintains that in the current market there were other priorities as well.
“We launched FreightHub to help companies save both time and money, through reducing friction and improving transparency,” he said.
Quotation and booking has also been digitalized, with Heilemann saying that FreightHub was the only freight forwarding player in Europe offering real time quotation and booking on its platform for sea, air and rail, between Asia and Europe.
The latest round of funding is led by VC firm Northzone, as well as existing investors. Those include Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital (GFC), Cherry Ventures, Cavalry Ventures and La Famiglia.
Online freight forwarders such as FreightHub have managed to address fragmentation of forwarding by linking up warehousing, trucking and carriers as well as other intermediaries on one platform, which allows shippers to monitor the status of their shipments in real time.