Weve seen many startups try to tackle shipping and freight in the last few years but very few got anywhere because the industry is very resistant to change. The key to winning in this market would be to leap-frog legacy operating systems and improve customer-facing supply chain visibility and analytics.
Zencargo, the digital freight forwarder, thinks it may have the answer, and so do its investors. Today it announces its seed plus round, led by Londons LocalGlobe, with participation from Samos Investments (founded by the Marquess of Salisbury) and Picus Capital, bringing total funds raised to over $4m.
The company works – which works with businesses ranging from high-growth scaleups to FTSE-listed businesses – will use the new funding to accelerate its product development process and build a presence in China.
Zencargo makes it completely free for companies to digitise their supply chain. Its platform includes end-to-end visibility for shipments from purchase order to delivery, addressing the issue of fragmented suppliers and manual processes.
Instead of real offices, Zencargos customers utilise its Virtual Local Offices to gain visibility during production around the world.
Customers include wearable technology giant Catapult and mattress-in-a-box brand Simba. Catapult says it has used Zencargo to expand its supply chain to over 50 countries, with 98% of all shipments arriving on time.
Tom Hook, supply chain and operations manager at Catapult, says Zencargos platform helped us digitise our complete shipping operation overnight. Their technology acts like an extension of our team; helping to increase visibility into our supply chain, minimising the amount of admin and communication required and allowing us to focus on developing and improving the way we operate rather than continually chasing it.
Richard Fattal, cofounder of Zencargo, says: Weve attracted a lot of fast-growing digital companies led by a new generation of business leaders. These are the kind of companies that are driving productivity growth in the UK and elsewhere and we are enjoying helping them operate with greater efficiency.
The company was founded by Alex Hersham, Zencargos CEO, and Fattal, with CTO Jan Reithmeyer. Hersham worked for Cerberus Capital Management, a US Private Equity with $40 billion under management, running the shipping business, buying and leasing ships back to the shipping lines. Richard is the third generation in his family to make a career in international trade; his grandfather owned a freight forwarding business and his father was a commodities trader.
London-based digital freight forwarder Zencargo today announced the completion of its seed plus round of funding, led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Samos Investments and Picus Capital, bringing total funds raised to more than US$4 million for the startup.
Zencargo said the money will go toward accelerating its product development process and expand its presence beyond it origins in the U.K. and Switzerland, and into China, to bridge the communication gap between shippers and thousands of local manufacturers.
The company 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 and displays it together in one place.
Tom Hook, supply chain and operations manager at tech company Catapult, a client of Zencargo, said that digitalizing its processes has improved operations by helping to increase visibility into our supply chain, minimizing the amount of admin and communication required, and allowing us to focus on developing and improving the way we operate, rather than continually chasing it.
There are a few front-runners gunning for status as leaders in the digitalization of the logistics industry. A similar startup, blockchain-based tech company CargoX, was in the news today for contracting the business of Freightalia.
As the push to digitalize traditionally paper-based forwarder transactions continues, it should be interesting to witness which of these ambitious startups will win the logistics sectors favor.