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Softbank, Volvo back Flock Freight with $113.5M to help shippers share the load – TechCrunch

Flock 2

On a regular basis 1000’s of vans carry freight alongside U.S. highways, propelling the financial system ahead as shopper items, electronics, automobiles and agriculture make their strategy to distribution facilities, shops and ultimately households. It’s inside these vans — lots of which sit half empty — the place Flock Freight, a five-year-old startup out of San Diego believes it may possibly rework the business.

Now, it has the funds to attempt to do it.

Flock Freight mentioned Tuesday it has raised $113.5 million in a Sequence C spherical led by Softbank Imaginative and prescient Fund 2. Present traders SignalFire, GLP Capital Companions and Google Ventures additionally participated within the spherical, along with a brand new minority funding by strategic companion Volvo Group Enterprise Capital. Ervin Tu, managing companion at SoftBank Funding Advisers, will be part of Flock Freight’s board. The corporate, which has raised $184 million so far, has post-funding valuation of $500 million, based on a supply aware of the deal who confirmed an earlier report by Bloomberg.

A slew of startups have popped up up to now a number of years all aiming to make use of know-how to remodel trucking — the spine of the U.S. financial system that strikes greater than 70% of all U.S. freight — right into a extra environment friendly machine. Most have targeted on constructing digital freight networks that join truckers with shippers.

Flock Freight has targeted as an alternative on the shipments themselves. The corporate created a software program platform that helps pool shipments right into a single shared truckload to make carrying freight extra environment friendly. Flock Freight says its software program avoids the standard hub-and-spoke system, which is dominated by vans with lower than a full load, identified within the business as LTL. Flock Freight says that by pooling shipments which can be going the identical course onto one truck, freight-related carbon emissions may be lowered by 40%.

The funds can be used to rent extra workers; it has 129 workers so far.

“Not like the digital freight-matching class that makes use of know-how to easily enhance effectivity as workflow automation, Flock Freight makes use of know-how to energy a brand new delivery mode (shared truckload) that makes freight transportation extra environment friendly. The affect of Flock Freight’s algorithms is that shippers not want to stick to LTL constraints for freight that measures as much as 44 linear ft; as an alternative, they’ll classify it as ‘shared truckload,’” Oren Zaslansky, founder and CEO of Flock Freight mentioned in an announcement. “Shippers can use Flock Freight’s environment friendly shared truckload resolution to accommodate excessive demand and elevated urgency.”

Their pitch has been compelling sufficient to draw a various mixture of enterprise companies and company traders similar to Volvo and Softbank.

“Flock Freight is bettering provide chain effectivity for a whole lot of 1000’s of shippers. Our funding is meant to speed up the corporate’s potential to scale its enterprise and seize a larger share of the market,” mentioned Tu, Managing Accomplice at SoftBank Funding Advisers.

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Kirsten Korosec