Venture capital (VC) firms continue to back entities attempting to digitize core freight forwarding processes, emblemized most recently by Seattle-based software provider Logixboard landing a $4.2 million seed round this week
Logixboard’s system allows forwarders to quote and book ocean freight and provide shipment visibility to shippers, services that are typically labor-intensive for forwarders, the company said.
“Engagement platforms are critical to any customer-facing industry, and freight forwarders have been largely ignored and left behind by software providers driving digitalization in other sectors,” Logixboard CEO Julian Alvarez said in a statement. “Today's funding further fuels our mission of driving digitalization for all freight forwarders regardless of their size, geography, or current systems used.”
The company joins a host of other software providers aiming to arm forwarders with front- or back-end tools to compete with the incumbent global forwarders, new digitally oriented entrants, and even shipping lines focusing on digitally integrated freight services. Those include Kontainers, Qwyk, and FreightBro, companies that seek to provide cloud-based engagement or back-end tools for small to medium forwarders that lack the resources or capability to build such systems.
Another category of forwarding software — rate and contract management tools — enables forwarders and non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs) to quote to shippers more quickly and accurately. Still another is backbone operating systems provided by the likes of WiseTech Global, BluJay Solutions, and Descartes.
“Many of the challenges that burden freight forwarders today stem from siloed systems, unstructured data, and the lack of a centralized customer offering,” the company said.
The seed round was led by Social Leverage, with participation from F-Prime Capital, Founders’ Co-op, Techstars Venture Fund, Liquid 2 VC, Bragiel Brothers, and Tom Gonser, the founder of Docusign.