The Uber of France: Startup Convargo raises $19M to build freight platform

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The on-demand trucking service trend has hit France, as Convargo is now seeking to become that country’s “Uber of trucking,” TechCrunch reports. The company, which pitched itself as “a marketplace for shippers and carriers,” has raised $19 million in a Series A round of funding.

The fund-raising effort was spear-headed by Earlybird and InVenture Partners. Other participants are reported to include Romain Afflelou, Clement Benoit, former DHL CEO Roger Crook and Oskar Hartmann together with Patrick Sayer and Nest founder Tony Fadell.

A French startup with “more than 2,000 partners” according to Convargo co-founder and CEO Maxime Legardez, it captured a niche in the on-demand trucking industry by catering to companies with “only 2 or 3 trucks.”

Convargo has only been around for a year, but it already has plans to expand in other European areas in 2018. Among the 3,000 companies that Convargo now services, 2 of them are high-profile multinational companies - Procter & Gamble and Auchan.fr.

As some companies are still traditional in a sense that they depend on phone calls and fax to get the next available truck for their freight needs, the French startup hopes to “convert” these companies to embrace the future of digital.

It also edged them ahead of the competition against “software-as-a-service marketplace” platforms like FretLink and transport marketplace provider uShip.

With a downloadable app, Convargo provides freight forwarding service to anyone online. It also provides the “old-fashioned” touch, allowing clients yet to register online the ability to call and still acquire services.

The tracking system helps the shipper and recipient trace packages along their routes. It estimates arrival time and automatically generates delivery forms for documentation purposes.

Convargo hopes to use said funding for API integrations. It hopes to complement it with the existing pricing algorithm optimizations apart from the IT systems already in place.

When it comes to freight and shipping startups based in Europe, the race for the next best on-demand freight transport is on. Previous European startups that were successful in raising funds according to Tech.Eu were fellow French company ChronoTruck and the Spanish startup OnTruck.

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