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A European logistics startup called Sennder raised an undisclosed amount in a Series B financing, according to U.S. venture capital firm Accel, which announced its investment in the round. Other investors include Holtzbrinck and Project A. Sennder claims to be one of the largest digital freight marketplaces in Europe, connecting large-scale shippers with carriers.
Sennder is making inroads in the European road freight market, which is worth more than $390 billion, by digitizing an industry that has mostly been reliant on paper, fax and phone, Accel said in a statement.
“We believe that Sennder’s value proposition and the nature of a highly fragmented and inefficient market positions the company ideally to continue building market share and lead the way for the industry on digitisation, reliability and customer service,” Accel said.
In 2017, Berlin-based Sennder received a seven-figure euro investment from Scania Growth Capital, the corporate venture capital fund of Swedish truck maker Scania.
Sennder is targeting a market segment estimated at $112 billion across the EU, according to Accel, to improve reliability, efficiency, visibility and customer service. With multiple layers of intermediaries, shippers have difficulty accessing information on their shipments. Sennder ensures prompt two-way communication, and its software provides real-time GPS tracking with continuously updated estimated arrival times, and automatic notifications of delays.
Sennder also aims to automate a large part of the freight matching business, reducing the number of partially empty trucks. In Europe, more than 30 percent of trucks run empty on the roads.
Founders David Nothacker, Nico Schefenacker and Julius Koehler have studied and worked around the world,
"In a market where shipping demand often outstrips supply, the ability to develop and nurture a loyal network of carriers, most of whom are small companies or sole traders, is crucial," Accel added.
Sennder now works with more 7,500 small trucking fleets, and will use the recently recent funds to scale up operations. The company is active in France, Germany and Italy, and plans to expand to Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Peter Green is an award-winning business and investigative journalist based in New York.