Earlier this week, San Francisco-based freight forwarding and customs brokerage services provider Flexport heralded a $935 million Series E investment round, with this round bringing its post-money valuation to more than $8 billion.
Flexport said this Series E investment was led by Andreessen Horowitz and MSD Partners with a strategic investment from Shopify, as well as participation from existing partners DST Global, Founders Fund, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, and other investors including Kevin Kwok. And it added that this capital raise comes on the heels of what the company called “years of uninterrupted growth for the company, particularly in the last twelve months,” as its Revenue more than doubled in 2021, with almost $19 billion in gross merchandise for its customers throughout 112 countries.
The raise follows years of uninterrupted growth for the company, particularly in the last twelve months, with Flexport’s revenue more than doubling in 2021 as it moved nearly $19 billion in gross merchandise for its clients across 112 countries.
“The global pandemic and the pressure it put on global supply chains has made the transportation of goods—something many people took for granted—a daily pain point,” said Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of Flexport, in a statement. “This investment signals that the market recognizes the need for a tech-enabled logistics ecosystem that has the visibility and resilience to handle unexpected challenges of any scale.”
Flexport said that it will allocate the capital from this investment round to accelerate the development of its technology platform for global logistics and to also continue to expand into new geographies and markets and its logistics tech ecosystem through investing in and also partnering with new companies in the supply chain and logistics sectors.
In terms of the biggest benefits of this investment for Flexport customers, Manuel Venegas, Flexport Senior Corporate & Financial Communications Manager, told LM that Flexport is most excited to continue serving customers like Lululemon, Bridgestone, and Peloton through its most recent raise.
“This new injection of capital will help us invest in the research and development to continue accelerating our technology roadmap and building an ecosystem that is fully digitized,” he said. “We strive to build a platform for our clients to leverage both through API or partnerships that will uncomplicate global logistics and move goods cheaper and faster. Specifically, it’ll empower our clients with added visibility to ensure milestone accuracy, the ability to increase collaboration across the supply chain network, and the potential to scale and meet increased demand.”
As for the advantages this investment offers in helping to separate itself from the company from the competition, Venegas explained that the global supply chain crunch has put Flexport’s technology and expertise center-stage in the media and logistics industry, adding that this raise allows it to accomplish its aggressive goals of scaling existing business and innovating on our technology to further modernize the global supply chain.
“Through this raise, we are particularly excited to welcome Shopify as a strategic investor,” he said. “They have a huge ecosystem of merchants which we already support on our platform, and we will continue doing so, along with the merchants selling on all other channels, in almost every country on earth. We work with companies of all sizes—from emerging brands to Fortune 500s—to move more than $20B of merchandise across hundreds of countries, and this round will help ensure we’re able to scale our Flexport team as our business grows.”
When asked what new geographies and markets Flexport is vetting, Venegas did not offer up specifics, instead saying that Flexport’s unique model allows it to utilize local expertise directly through its certified partner network. And he said that will be a key element of how it expands its services for clients into new areas, noting Flexport cannot share specific geographies at thew moment.
As for M&A activity being a key part of the ongoing growth strategy, Venegas pointed to how earlier this year, Flexport announced a community-backed incubator in partnership with On Deck to accelerate the next wave of logistics startups.
“We are also working separately to invest in and support companies that will move global trade toward a more accessible and visible state for everyone,” he said.
About the Author
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman
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