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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TLT.USA
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Flexport bulks up with $1 billion investment

SoftBank’s Vision Fund led the Series D round, which Flexport will use to improve technology, open offices and warehouses and hire employees with operational expertise.

   Tech-focused freight forwarder Flexport has secured a $1 billion investment led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, announced CEO Ryan Petersen Thursday.
   Flexport’s Series D round, which also included participation from existing investors Founders Fund, DST Global, Cherubic Ventures, Susa Ventures and SF Express, raised the company’s value to $3.2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
   The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2013, will use the new capital to improve its technology, open new offices and warehouses and hire new employees with operational expertise, said a Flexport spokesperson.
   “Our goal is to have warehouses in every major freight gateway where our clients operate,” the spokesperson said Friday in an email. “The timing of that expansion in indeterminate, based on our team getting there as fast as we can while still being operationally excellent.”
   Flexport, ranked the 11th-largest freight forwarder by ocean volume on the transpacific eastbound lane, works with almost 10,000 clients and suppliers across 200 countries.
   The company’s top-line revenues doubled to nearly $500 million in 2018, Petersen said in the statement, as Flexport increased its headcount to nearly 1,000 employees and expanded to 11 offices and warehouses worldwide. The startup announced in January it was adding product and engineering teams to its Chicago office, which will become the first of the startup’s nine offices to have such a presence outside San Francisco.
   “By bringing together everyone — importers, exporters, ocean carriers, airlines, warehouses, trucking companies and customs brokerages — on one platform to structure all the data required to conduct global trade, Flexport and the [operating system] for global trade give businesses what they’ve never had before with their freight forwarders: deep visibility and control from origin to destination, fast and reliable transit times and low and predictable supply chain costs,” Petersen said.

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