The wheels of global trade continue to turn, through wars, pandemics and economic downturns; and today, a startup taking a new technology approach to improving the operation of one of the more ancient aspects of that industry – shipping – is announcing a massive funding round to fold down double growth rate.
Xeneta – an Oslo, Norway-based startup that applies innovations in community sourcing to the fragmented and often murky shipping world to build transparent data and analytics for the industry – has raised $80 million, which they will use to build their data sets and customers on more global routes.
Xeneta has accumulated 300 million data points from “several hundred” of the world’s largest shipping companies, contribute and then source data from the Xeneta platform to find out if they are paying market prices for their transportation on specific routes. and USAore more than 40 billion dollars of shopping on the platform to date. However, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg: Patrik Berglund, CEO and co-founder of Xeneta, said in an interview with TechCrunch that combining air and ocean shopping (the two channels that Xeneta covers today) are valued at between $600 million and $900 million. depending on the season; and there are thousands than shipping companies and other shipping players out there.
“We believe we will have 1,000 of them on Xeneta in the near future,” he said. It targets the largest audience of customers first: existing customers include Electrolux, Unilever, Nestle, Zebra Technologies, Thyssenkrupp, Volvo, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and John Deere.
The company confirmed a Xeneta funding of $265 million.
Apax Digital, the equity growth arm of PE firm Apax, is leading the round, with Lugard Road Capital also participating. Lugard is an affiliate of the company’s former backer, Luxor, and other current investors including Creandum, Point Nine and Smedvig. Prior to this round, the company had raised about $55 million in one series of the ring start two thousand and thirteen.
Innovations in e-commerce and fintech have driven the way the world finds and pays for goods and services, but when it comes to getting items from A to B to turn the wheel of the ecosystem Then, the journey will be a little less complicated: transportation is still a fragmented ecosystem and – subject to economic, climatic and social change – is often unpredictable.
There have been a number of tech startups emerging over the past few years targeting opportunities to bring more modern approaches to the backward and unorganized world of shipping. PayCargo is building new payment products; company like sender, Zencargo and Flexport not engaged in freight forwarding; Flock Freight applying the carpooling feature to road transport; To escort are also applying a new touch to logistics; Fleetzero believe there are mileage in electric freight trains; and such.
Xeneta is in a distinct category of freight and freight services: business intelligence for companies operating in the industry.
As Berglund explained, it is a somewhat diversified and unstructured market: for starters, you can thousands of shipping companies large and small and the partners they use to do their job, as well as hundreds of thousands of businesses using those services. Plus, those interactions are often similar and influenced by a multitude of factors that can affect price and overall performance. People who are looking to book a transportation job may not know how much the ride might cost for a particular route or if it could be approached in a cheaper alternative. Those with seats on cargo ships don’t know the best rates to offer potential customers.
Xeneta’s breakthrough was to build a platform where all those players could essentially share the price they were paying at any given time for a particular route. Its system then organizes that data and applies analytics around it to model how prices are moving and what it means for related routes elsewhere. .
As with other crowdsourced logistics platforms (Waze is a good example here), the more data fed into the system, the more powerful it becomes. Today, Xeneta has certainly made its way into the self-catering business, although years ago when the company was just starting out was certainly more of a challenge.
Initially, the company covered only one route – from a port in Norway to a port in China. But getting its early customers to take the leap to provide data for that one chunk to prove Xeneta’s value turned out to be the winner: Berglund says things quickly improved as those customers enter more data and others also start in order to get a better understanding of how much they paid, what routes they are taking, etc. The data is currently based on a 70/30 split between sea and air shipping (it doesn’t include land routes at this time) and the feed is active enough that when you visit Xeneta’s website you’ll see it switch to code like it updated, like a stock exchange. Interestingly, it seems that those who are submitting data are less concerned with the competitive aspect of disclosing their own data to competitors: the value derived from knowing the bigger picture seems to greater than this fact.
Interestingly, the company is not in the business of booking transit routes, nor does it want to, Berglund said.
“My background is in freight forwarding,” he says, and so he knows the benefits of being someone who can give that team more data to do a better job. “Whether it’s a new digital freight forwarder or an old one, they all need better data to run their businesses more efficiently.” He added that 95% of the market still mainly uses Excel spreadsheets to analyze historical and current data.
“I’m just surprised they still use it and the fax machine.”
And just to be clear, it’s not the only company that recognizes the potential to provide more intellectual tools to this rapidly modernizing industry. Others like Freightview is also building tools to make it easier for people booking transportation to understand market rates.
“Buyers and sellers of freight have flown in the dark in a complex and unclear market. Mark Beith, a partner at Apax Digital, said in a statement, Xeneta’s world-leading data set and cutting-edge platform provide unique access to real-time insights and insights. real-time, allowing data-driven buying and selling of goods. “This brings compelling value to their blue-chip customer base – not just in sales or procurement, but also in budgeting and reporting, and increasingly in ESG oversight. We are excited to partner with Patrik and the Xeneta team and help deliver their vision. “Beith joins Xeneta’s board with this round.