Digital forwarder Zencargo completes Series A funding round

Technology start-ups aim to digitalize supply chain management

London-based Zencargo, a digital freight forwarder, has completed Series A funding, in which it raised US$20 million to continue developing its software and prepare for the launch of its new supply chain analytics and insights group.

Alex Hersham, co-founder and chief executive, said that “failing to digitize the supply chain is holding back global businesses,” adding that $1.1 trillion in supply inefficiencies has been lost to poor inventory planning.

One of Zencargo’s goals, which it plans to achieve with the launch of the new insights group, is to leverage its predictive-analytics and machine-learning capabilities in its partnerships with clients.

The two-year-old startup completed its “seed plus” round of funding back in September, in which it raised $4 million. It offers services such as instant quotes, instant booking and real-time shipment tracking through a centralized platform, which “pulls supply-chain data from different systems and parties.”

“Business leaders want increased agility in their supply chain and, through our platform, we are seeing customers drive cost and working capital improvements in their first few months of adoption by unlocking supply chain insights,” Hersham said.

The latest round of funding was led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from Tom Stafford, managing partner venture capital firm DST Global and Pentland Ventures.

Christian Saller, general partner at HV Holtzbrinck, called the size of opportunity in the space – i.e. supply chain digitalization – “enormous” and added that going paperless will bring “a single version of truth to the supply chain will be transformative for customers.”

While there is certainly a need for digital services in freight forwarding – an industry that is often accused of being antiquated – there are already a handful of strong contenders in the race, e.g., CHAMP, and Freightos, vying for partnerships with major industry players. As freight forwarders continue to fish around for IT companies to answer the call to digitalize, it will be interesting to witness which of these ventures succeed in gaining authority.

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