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EXO Freight raises $15M to meet growing open deck demand

Open deck capacity needs continue to surge as van and reefer demand declines

EXO Freight has raised $15 million in series A funding. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Royal Oak, Michigan-based EXO Freight announced Thursday it raised $15 million in a series A fundraising round led by Left Lane Capital with participation from Detroit Venture Partners to continue building onto its digital freight marketplace tailored to the open deck trucking market.

The company has raised a total of $16.5 million since 2021 with previous investors including 1984 Ventures, 12BF Global Investments, Lancaster Investments and Y Combinator.

Co-founder and CEO Kurtis Tryber told FreightWaves that EXO Freight has seen 33% month-over-month revenue growth since its initial raise in June 2021 and is currently working with over 50 enterprise shippers to make it easier for the companies to leverage open deck capacity in the market.

This comes as no surprise as the demand for open deck capacity has continued to hold steady throughout 2022 while other trucking modes, including van and reefer, have seen significant drop-offs since about the beginning of March.

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These trends have not gone unnoticed by EXO Freight’s newest investors, who believe the company’s existing tools will help shippers find that open deck capacity and bring technology to both shippers and open deck drivers who have not previously had FreightTech dedicated to the mode.

“The time is right for a seismic shift online in the world of open deck shipping. Thanks to its shipper TMS solution, internal TMS and carrier management portal, we feel EXO Freight is poised to fundamentally improve the economics and quality of life for open deck carriers and their drivers,” said Dan Ahrens, managing partner at Left Lane Capital. “We look forward to partnering with the entire EXO Freight team and rolling up our sleeves as we build towards the future of the freight industry.”

Funding detailsEXO Freight
Funding amount$15 million
Funding roundSeries A
Lead investorLeft Lane Capital
Secondary investorsDetroit Venture Partners
Business goals for the roundContinue building suite of software products and expand team
Total funding$16.5 million
Post-money valuation $66.5 million*
*According to Pitchbook

Set aside the mode’s current state of demand, the open deck market has never been considered small, as open deck makes up about 20% of roughly $700 billion in North American transportation spend, according to EXO Freight.

The size of the market, along with the extra care and vetting needed to protect open deck freight from risk during transport fueled the need for Tryber, and twin brother Kris, to leverage their accumulated freight technology expertise to improve how shippers acquire open deck carrier capacity.

“Our system goes beyond the normal vetting process by analyzing which commodities our carriers are allowed to haul, types of trucks, trailers and securement accessories that specific carriers have. Additionally, our loads are often above the normal $100,000 cargo limits, so our matching takes this into account when identifying which carriers are best fit for specific loads based on value,” said Tryber.

EXO Freight has already built out its EXOTMS for shippers to build, manage and track shipments, giving them direct access to available capacity in EXO’s network of 10,000 open deck carriers. Shippers can also integrate their own systems into the company’s internal TMS to reach that capacity as well.

Lastly, the company’s most recent release, EXO’s carrier management portal, enables carriers to actively manage their business, including offering available equipment detail, preferred lanes, digital booking experiences and multi-load routing.

“Our carriers can also leverage our 24-hour quick pay directly in this portal and upload any and all documentation related to loads. The future of our carrier management portal will include fintech products, which will be announced in early 2023,” Tryber told FreightWaves.

With its new capital, EXO Freight now seeks the talent to continue growing its network of both shippers and open deck carriers through roles including full-stack software engineers, sales development reps, account executives, carrier sales reps, product managers and marketing leadership.

According to Tryber, with the company’s new investor relationships, this growth and scale should come naturally.

“They entered conversations about our business with the most conviction we’ve ever seen and truly understood the online and offline components of our business. They understood every aspect of our business in today’s state and ultimately aligned with our vision and wanted to be a partner in our success,” he said.

Watch now: How did Kurtis Tryber, CEO and co-founder at EXO, get started?

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Grace Sharkey

Grace Sharkey is a professional in the logistics and transportation industry with experience in journalism, digital content creation and decision-making roles in the third-party logistics space. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Grace led a startup brokerage to more than $80 million in revenue, holding roles of increasing responsibility, including director of sales, vice president of business development and chief strategy officer. She is currently a staff writer, podcast producer and SiriusXM radio host for FreightWaves, a leading provider of news, data and analytics for the logistics industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University. You can contact her at [email protected].