NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2020 /CNW/ -- Loadsmart, a leading digital freight technology company, today announced the successful completion of its Series C fundraising. The $90 million round was led by BlackRock, Inc.'s managed funds and included prominent strategic investors from the transportation space such as TFI International Inc. (NYSE and TSX: TFII), a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, and Maersk, the world's leading ocean carrier and a Loadsmart investor since Series A. The deal was co-led by Chromo Invest, with participation from Perry Capital, founded by Richard C. Perry; and Bramalea Partners, recently founded by Andrew Boyd, former head of global equity capital markets at Fidelity Investments. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as Loadsmart's exclusive placement agent. Paul Hastings served as legal adviser.
The funding round cements Loadsmart's position as a leader in the digital freight space. Loadsmart's fiscally conservative strategy is unique among digital competitors and has allowed for capital-efficient, sustainable growth. Instead of growing by subsidizing its customers' freight spend, the company focuses on organic growth driven by operational excellence coupled with API integrations, developing the technology to provide true value-added services to its customers. Loadsmart has grown revenues 250% since January 2020 while improving service quality, increasing gross margins and keeping operational expenses at 2019 levels.
"As the secular shift from analogue to digital has continued to accelerate throughout the logistics industry, in which volatility has become the norm, we are proud to help our customers leverage Loadsmart's technology to secure capacity and exceptional service," noted Ricardo Salgado, Loadsmart co-founder and CEO.
With the highest percentage of employees in software development and data science roles in the digital freight industry, Loadsmart was the first to market with the following: truckload instant pricing and booking in 2015; server-to-server autonomous truckload booking via API and TMS integrations in 2016; and drayage and transload digital services in 2019. This tech-first approach has allowed the company to set in place a fully scalable and automated distribution model. As a result, 85% of Loadsmart revenue is now generated (quoted and booked) with full automation.
On the heels of Loadsmart's recent announcement of its multi-mode expansion, supporting less-than-truckload, partial and rail, Co-Founder and President Felipe Capella emphasized, "We are a one-stop shop for digital logistics execution. BlackRock's support will be critical to consolidate our vision of offering end-to-end multimodal digital logistics services. We want to provide shippers and carriers with logistics solutions that are simple, instantaneous and integrated."
The strategic investment from TFI International allows for collaboration and idea sharing with a North American leader in transportation and logistics that has a wide breadth of operations.
Discussing the investment in Loadsmart, TFI International's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Alain Bédard stated, "As a leader in the transportation and logistics industry, we constantly seek a window into the latest cutting-edge technologies to integrate within our expansive network. Our investment in Loadsmart provides invaluable visibility into 'what's next' as we pursue our technology-enabled, asset light-business plan."
Maersk has also doubled down on its support, with Sune Stilling, Head of Maersk Growth, citing as influencing factors, "the remarkable growth Loadsmart has achieved since our Series A investment, complemented by the value we have jointly created for Maersk's customers through our partnership in the North American intermodal and truckload markets."
Loadsmart's suite of investors now includes the largest ocean carrier in the world, the largest port terminal operator in the U.S. and one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in North America. The proceeds of the Series C round will allow Loadsmart to better serve shippers through doubling down on the tools to deliver excellent operational performance, as well as an expansion of value-added services like mode optimization, price transparency and data insights on supply chain optimization opportunities.
Transforming the future of freight, Loadsmart leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and strategic partnerships to automate how freight is priced, booked and shipped. Pairing advanced technologies with deep-seated industry expertise, Loadsmart fuels growth, simplifies operational complexity and bolsters efficiency for carriers and shippers alike. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com.
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