Forager, a Chicago-based freight tech startup firm, recently snagged three new investors as the company continues to grow.
Proeza Ventures, Industrious Ventures and Purple Arch Ventures have been added to Forager’s Series A round of financing, which initially closed in March and is now oversubscribed at $10.5 million.
The funding will allow Forager to continue to enhance the company and expand its technology platform SCOUT, said Matt Silver, founder and chief executive officer of Forager.
“We had a little bit of room left in the Series A round, and in this case more investors wanted to come in once we had room left,” Silver said.
Silver, along with Jordan Salins, vice president of finance and analytics, and Jessie Essman, chief operating officer, founded Forager in January 2019. The cross-border freight tech firm currently has around 55 employees.
Forager’s SCOUT is a technology platform specifically designed for cross-border supply chain operations between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Silver said they are around a month away from launching the newest version of SCOUT.
Proeza Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Monterrey, Mexico, and Houston, Texas. Purple Arch Ventures, is part of Manchester, New Hampshire-based Alumni Ventures Group, a venture capital firm that generally invests in companies in the Northwestern University alumni network.
Silver added that working with Proeza Ventures creates a lot of cross-border possibilities.
“One of the really cool things about Proeza is that they are part of the same company that owns Metalsa, which makes the majority of vehicle frames for cars, trucks and vans in the United States,” Silver said. “Having Proeza Ventures leads to a lot of other possible synergies for us.”
Proeza Ventures is backed by Monterrey, Mexico-based Grupo Proeza, a portfolio management company that owns Metalsa, a Mexican global Tier-1 original equipment manufacturer in the North American automotive market, as well as Citrofrut, a Mexican citrus processing and juice export company.
Both Metalsa and Citrofrut have plants and facilities across the U.S., Mexico, and in other countries around the world. Citrofrut’s North American distribution center is located in McAllen, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rodolfo Elias Dieck, managing director at Proeza Ventures, said his firm was attracted to Forager because they are working with cutting-edge technology to improve ground freight movement.
“We are focused on mobility, specifically the ground transportation industry,” Dieck said. “We really liked their industry expertise and know-how and how well connected they are in the industry. Also, that they are keeping a very customer-centric approach, making sure that their solution really solves their clients’ pain points before they scale more aggressively.”
Proeza Ventures was also attracted to Forager because of the firm’s focus on cross-border trade across North America.
“Even before the pandemic, we were seeing a shift with the trade war between the U.S. and China, that supply chains were going to go through a shift or transition and become more regional,” Dieck said. “Mexico was already well poised to take a share of that market. Now with the pandemic, I think regional trade is even more important today.”