Spencer Piland, a startup veteran with a successful background in subscription and market-place based platforms, has been appointed as CFO at FreightWaves. In this role, Piland will oversee all financial and strategic analysis functions for one of the fastest growing enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies on the planet.
Piland has led finance teams through periods of hyper-growth at four venture-backed startups – Namely, Plated, NJOY and LivingSocial. Over the course of his career, Piland has played key roles in over $700 million in equity capital raises, $150 million in debt capital raises and $3 billion of merger and acquisition transactions.
FreightWaves is the largest provider of near real-time market data, news, and context for the global freight and logistics markets. The company has two primary business lines: a media business which offers news, context and commentary for global freight markets across all modes; and its SaaS offering known as SONAR that offers over 1,000 unique index types, pulling in data from all modes of freight movement.
Both businesses have best-in-class unit financial profiles and generate positive contribution margins. In addition, the businesses are complementary and help to expand the community that FreightWaves is helping to drive. The media business brings context to the data offered inside of SONAR and the editorial team benefits from having near-real time analytics and data instantly available. This empowers the 35 full-time journalists to identify trends and events that can impact freight market participants around the globe.
At a recent conference, Craig Fuller, the CEO and founder of FreightWaves, joked that the company could be described as “if Bloomberg and ESPN had a baby in the back of a semi-truck, that would be FreightWaves.”
Piland will be joining FreightWaves at an important time in the company’s evolution. In the past year, the FreightWaves team has tripled to over 150 employees, launched the world’s first futures market based on trucking, created the first streaming TV news network dedicated to freight, completed two acquisitions, and broadened into air, rail, maritime and warehousing data analytics.
“FreightWaves is bringing a leading data solution to the $9.6 trillion freight market with its unique content-supported SaaS business model. I’m excited to join a strong team with great investor backing to help build a world-class organization,” Piland stated.
FreightWaves is a perfect fit for Piland’s track record of joining “hyper-growth” companies. The company’s SaaS offering has grown by nearly 1,500% year-over-year; the media business saw similar revenue growth with more than 800% growth in year-over-year comparisons.
Both business units have best-in-class economics and KPI performance metrics. The company generates around three million pageviews a month and through partnerships with other media outlets generates nearly 2.5 billion impressions per month, according to Meltwater.
Bringing on Piland will position the company for a potential IPO in the next decade.