Ontruck collects $10 million, aiming for a Uber-like freight services
【Summary】Ontruck, a new startup founded in 2016 in Madrid, Spain has just raised $10 million through its series A funding. The company that has graduated from Combination Y Accelerator wants to set up a B2B freight service platform, just like an Uber in logistics.
Ontruck, a new startup founded in 2016 in Madrid, Spain has just raised $10 million through its series A funding. The company that has graduated from Combination Y Accelerator wants to set up a B2B freight service platform, just like an Uber for logistics.
According to TechCrunch, the startup received its financial backup from Atomico and Idinvest, and a few existing supporters such as Point Nine Capital.
The company is trying to digitize the on-road freight market, to make it more efficient and traceable. The current logistics industry is still quite traditional, using an old-fashioned business model. Even today, many freight orders are placed over the phone, email, or even fax. Often there will be a freight broker who works as a middle person in the transaction to match supply and demand. The broker typically earns up to 15% of the shipping fees.
Additionally, many freight businesses are run by small companies or independent truck drivers - the orders are fragmental and singular, leading to underutilization of the whole shipping process. For example, up to 40% of freight shipping return trips are made with an empty truck. The shortcomings of this business model makes it difficult to trace a freight order, check shipping status, and trucks are not being efficiently used.
Ontruck wants to solve this problem, by enabling companies who have road freight shipping demands to get an instant price for their desired destination, date, and truck specifications. Furthermore, a specified pick-up slot can be chosen in the Ontruck app, like Uber, and the shipments are traceable throughout the entire journey.
Meanwhile, Ontruck will connect with truck drivers and large fleet companies to accept shipping requests via the mobile application in a first-come-first-serve base, according to their own schedule. This ensures that the trucks can be used more efficiently, and truck drivers are "getting paid automatically, on-time and with reliability."
Currently, the company focuses on distances of up to 150 miles in key transportation centers, valuing density more than scale. For long-distances and more profitable freight shipping requests, they still remain reserved.
The app is available for use in Spain right now, and under testing in other European markets. Ontruck aims to be a digital freight shipping leader in Europe. However, to know if Ontruck will become the next Uber of freight shipping may take some time.
Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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