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Berlin logistics startup sennder raises Series C financing round

sennder, a Berlin-based logistics startup, has raised €62.4 million ($70 million) in its Series C round led by Lakestar, with existing investors like venture capital firms Accel, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Project A and Swedish automaker Scania being a part of this raise. Founded in 2015 as a digital road freight forwarding platform in Europe, sennder now connects over 7,500 vehicles across the continent. 

“The investments by venture capital firms Lakestar and Accel show that we have identified a massive challenge and its solution that will play a vital role for the future of the European logistics markets,” said Nicolaus Schefenacker, co-founder of sennder. The Series C round has come in quick succession to its previous financing round, which happened this April with the company raising €26.5 million, taking its total funding this year to roughly €100 million ($112 million). 

The freight industry is now a segment bustling with several digitization possibilities, as startups and industry incumbents work to improve visibility into operations and end-to-end transparency between different stakeholders within the system. The industry witnesses significant pressure coming in through the much spoken about ‘Amazon effect’ – forcing businesses to adapt to the changing times or perish against overwhelming competition. 

sennder has found a sweet spot in this quandary, by helping freight companies digitize and automate significant portions of redundant processes, as well as bringing visibility to every segment within operations. The company provides drivers with mobile applications, fleet management tools for the back office and provides management solutions for shippers to keep them updated real-time on the location of their freight. 

The digitization space is now at the receiving end of several huge financial raises across the globe, with companies like U.S.-based Flexport, U.K.-based Zencargo and German-based FreightHub competing in the same niche as sennder. The European road freight industry is estimated at over €350 billion ($392.58 billion), which largely still works on paper-based documents, calls and faxes for booking loads. 

Within this seemingly large market, sennder’s core proposition deals with businesses that run full truckload (FTL) fleets, which alone is estimated at €100 billion ($112.17 billion) in mainland Europe. The market fragmentation is as ubiquitous a problem in Europe as it is in the U.S., which helps sennder to assist small- and mid-tier fleets to automate and streamline processes to eventually compete with larger trucking fleets. 

sennder uses artificial intelligence to create insights on data captured from fleets, which is then run through its system to help automate route planning and generally coordinate end-to-end freight movement. 

“We have pooled our knowledge and experience gathered in our previous roles to improve operational excellence in this highly complex market. Our relentless focus on product and industry pain points has helped us to deliver an impressive portfolio of global, highly satisfied enterprise clients,” said David Nothacker, sennder co-founder in a statement. “We believe that sennder is leading the way for the industry on digitization, reliability and customer service.”