FreightWaves raises $13M in oversubscribed Series A funding led by 8VC

 Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves, presents the opening remarks at Transparency18. ( Photo: FreightWaves )

Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves, presents the opening remarks at Transparency18. (Photo: FreightWaves)

FreightWaves, the leading provider of data and analytics to the freight markets, has closed an oversubscribed Series A funding round worth $13 million. Total funding to date for the two-year old company is $18.4 million.

“Like our first two rounds of funding, this round was oversubscribed, with high demand coming from both incumbents and new participants. We chose the funds carefully and placed a lot of emphasis on their understanding of both freight and financial markets,” said Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves.

The investment round was led by 8VC. Jake Medwell, partner at 8VC, commented, “We participated in FreightWaves’ seed funding and have supported the company’s mission of creating a market analytics platform and freight futures market for surface freight transportation. We look forward to working with Craig and his team on building a billion-dollar company that will bring transparency and risk-management solutions to the global freight industry.”  

8VC recently raised a $640 million fund with a core focus on logistics. In addition to investing in FreightWaves, the firm is also an investor in freight tech startups project44, Platform Science, and LoadDocs. The firm also added Schneider National’s CIO Shaleen Devgun as an advisor.

Returning investors in the Series A include Fontinalis Partners and Story Ventures. Pritzker Group Venture Capital and  Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund were first time participants in this latest round. FreightWaves was the winner of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition held in Chattanooga, TN, where FreightWaves is based.

“FreightWaves is building on Chattanooga’s legacy as a center of logistics innovation,” said JD Vance, Managing Partner of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. “It is yet another great example of a company outside of Silicon Valley successfully leveraging local industry expertise.”

Ty Findley, Senior Associate at Pritzker Group Venture Capital commented, “With our hometown of Chicago both a logistics hub and a pioneer of the global futures market, we’re excited to work with this all-star team to transform the global freight industry.”

Kelvin Beachum Jr., the New York Jets offensive tackle, also participated in the round. He made the list of The World’s Top 20 Most Tech-Savvy Athletes. Unlike most athletes that invest in consumer tech, the SMU graduate likes infrastructure plays and has made other investments in freight, including in Flexport.

FreightWaves takes in fundamental data from the freight marketplace and provides market-level analytics that give participants insights into supply and demand and economic indicators. Through the SONAR SaaS platform, market participants benefit from actionable analytics that can help them project market-wide demand, benchmarking, and develop resource allocation plans.

 FreightWaves SONAR platform was introduced during demo day at Transparency18.

FreightWaves SONAR platform was introduced during demo day at Transparency18.

The company employs 5 PhDs and two full time economists who interpret data from across the industry, helping users understand what is happening in the freight market and forecast where the market is heading. These insights help freight brokers price freight more accurately, carriers improve routing decisions and benchmarking, and shippers project capacity availability. The company also enjoys a large subscriber base from Wall Street hedge funds, who use the data to make better trading decisions.

FreightWaves, in conjunction with DAT and Nodal Exchange, is planning to roll out freight futures contracts in late 2018 that are settled against DAT’s trucking spot market rates. The futures contracts will be the first of their kind.

Breakthrough Fuel, Hunt Technology Ventures, and Engage Ventures are also investors. Breakthrough Fuel and Hunt have deep-seated expertise in the commodity markets that will be beneficial as the company develops its futures contracts, while Atlanta-based Engage Ventures is a venture fund with the largest number of Fortune 1000 corporate sponsors in the world. UPS, Invesco, Goldman Sachs, AT&T, Cox Enterprises, ICE, Chick-fil-a, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, Georgia Power, The Home Depot, and Georgia Tech are all partners in the fund that focuses on early-stage companies.

Since launching the company in June 2016, the company has created the number one most-trafficked news and commentary site in all of freight worldwide, with over 1.1 million pageviews a month. The company operates a series of events and conferences, under the Waves banner (Transparency and MarketWaves). Transparency has been described as the “CES of Transportation” by Morgan Stanley. FreightWaves also oversees community activities in the largest transportation technology standards organization in the world, BiTA.

Trucking tech is on fire right now. CB Insights estimated that trucking-related tech investments topped $1 billion dollars in 2017, with momentum continuing into 2018.

In addition to the corporate offices in Chattanooga, the company has offices in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, London and Singapore.

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 FreightWaves' SONAR dashboard shown to help companies identify changes in the freight markets overtime. The left map shows areas where the TRI (turndown rate index) is highest and the screen on the right is a chart showing rejections in Chicago with technical analysis studies.  

FreightWaves' SONAR dashboard shown to help companies identify changes in the freight markets overtime. The left map shows areas where the TRI (turndown rate index) is highest and the screen on the right is a chart showing rejections in Chicago with technical analysis studies.