BERLIN (Reuters) – Digital freight startup Sennder said on Thursday it had raised $160 million from investors, valuing the six-year-old business at more than $1 billion, and would invest the proceeds in its technology platform.
The Berlin-based company has emerged as a consolidator in Europe’s freight-tech sector, merging with France’s Everoad and buying Uber’s European freight business last year, and aims to move a million truckloads this year.
“Business was very strong in 2020, which is the reason why we had an opportunity to raise more money,” CEO and co-founder David Nothacker told Reuters. Last year’s deal-making helped reduce risk for its investors, he added.
The Series D funding round was backed by Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A and Scania, and brought total funds raised to date by Sennder to more than $260 million.
Sennder specialises in broking so-called full-truck loads, a segment that accounts for around a third of Europe’s $350 billion freight sector and has traditionally relied on small trucking companies that work with phone, pen and paper.
Now, in addition to providing freight forwarding services to major shippers like Germany’s Siemens, Sennder wants to offer its software platform as a service so that shippers can digitise their entire logistics setup.
This “Uberisation” of its model builds on a joint venture in Italy, where Sennder handles all parcel traffic for Poste Italiane, saving its partner 6% in costs while still making a profit on the business itself.
Commenting on the business outlook, Nothacker said that Sennder hoped to hit sales of 2 billion euros in the next five years. It makes 400-500 euros per truckload, putting forecast sales this year at around half a billion euros.
Reporting by Douglas Busvine: Editing by Cynthia Osterman