For freight forwarders, procuring pricing data for their customers usually involves going to multiple sources, and then consolidating information into spreadsheets. That’s time-consuming and complicated, especially since pricing data constantly changes. Freightify wants to make the process as simple as comparing airfare with its vertical SaaS platform.
The Singapore-based startup announced today it has raised a $12 million Series A led by Sequoia Capital India, with participation from Trail Mix Ventures and Alteria Capital. The round also included returning investors Nordic Eye Venture Capital and Motion Ventures.
TechCrunch last covered Freightify in July 2021, when it raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Freightify is now used by more than 200 freight forwarding companies in 45 countries, and says its revenue has tripled over the last year. The company refers to itself as the “Shopify for maritime freight” because it provides white-label rate management and e-booking tools for freight forwarders to set up online stores. The startup’s SaaS platform also provides track and trace solutions to let freight forwarders see the live location of vessels.
The startup was founded in 2016 by Raghavendran Viswanathan as a freight marketplace before pivoting into an automated rate management system, in a move he compares to Shopify’s evolution from an online snowboard store to e-commerce ecosystem.
Viswanathan said pricing data from shipping liners, non-vessel operators, land carriers and consolidators come in different formats and currencies, which means freight forwarders have to consolidate all the data manually. Gathering freight rates usually involves sending multiple emails, looking at PDF documents, filling spreadsheets and keeping browser tabs with pricing data open. Then sharing it with customers can take a couple days, depending on how complex their requests are. Freightify’s rate management and quoting features means freight forwarders can procure and quote freight prices in less than two minutes, including possible ancillary changes.
Freightify is currently post-revenue and its pricing packages are pay-per-use. Viswanathan said that Freightify’s main competitors are still spreadsheets and “the reluctance of freight forwarders to use technology,” but more are willing to adopt technology, thanks in part to the drive toward digitization prompted by the pandemic.
There are more marketplaces and digital forwarders emerging in different markets, and part of Freightify’s competitive strategy is selling a SaaS product. “The industry is not a winner take all market and freight forwarders can recognize a useful solution when they see one,” Viswanathan said.
Freightify’s new funding will be used on product development and launching new features, growing its international sales team, channel partnerships and marketing.