Orlando-based last-mile orchestration and fulfillment platform OneRail announced on Feb. 26 that it has raised $5.8 million in seed funding. Las Olas Venture Capital led the financing round with participation from Chicago Ventures, Alpine Meridian Ventures, and key stakeholders within the retail and supply chain space.
OneRail is a bolt-on, fulfilled by Amazon-type solution that consolidates the needs of shippers and retailers onto a single platform. It streamlines operations by providing them a dependable, scalable and affordable final-mile solution.
“Shippers, retailers and distributors have a much higher volume need today and their needs are spread across a large geography. Deliveries have become more complex and there’s a need for a single platform to manage all of those deliveries,” said Bill Catania, the founder and CEO of OneRail, while talking to FreightWaves.
The first generation of expedited final mile delivery was exclusively about the dynamics between a carrier or an on-demand delivery provider and a shipper. However, the segment has evolved to accommodate a lot more variables over time, with shippers and carriers getting buried under a variety of tools and platforms they have to work with to be in control of their operations.
OneRail’s idea is to replace this complexity with one single platform that can monitor and track everything that falls under the last-mile.
Catania explained that OneRail’s journey began as an on-demand carrier called Zapt, which evolved after the company understood the pain points of its then-customers – retailers and product distributors – could only be solved by creating a platform that helped them gain real-time visibility.
“The way we differentiate ourselves from our competition is by bringing in a human element to our orchestration platform, along with technology. OneRail provides logistics management for all deliveries. For a shipper, we don’t just use our technology to match their freight with the right delivery network, but we also manage it via people,” said Catania.
The company provides exceptions management as well. Exceptions are deliveries that do not go as planned. These could be deliveries that arrive late, have damaged goods, or have an issue with an entered address that is either wrong or incomplete. Since OneRail is integrated with the carrier’s application, it can instantly recognize exceptions and work with the customer that is to receive the product to make sure the issue is addressed.
OneRail signs contracts with carriers and manages carrier relationships on behalf of shippers. “The other platforms out there don’t do that. They provide access to carriers and make it easy for a carrier to integrate to a shipper. But the burden is on the shipper to sign the contract with the carrier, to get the pricing worked out, and to do the technical integration. We handle all that ourselves,” said Catania.
The startup also offers a comprehensive omnichannel fulfillment solution by integrating with the point-of-sale, the actual cash register at the store, the ecommerce platform, as well as the ERP system.
Catania mentioned that the solution has been received very positively by its clients. “We are on track to do about 2.5 million deliveries this year, in terms of facilitating them through our orchestration platform. We expect to grow exponentially over the next few years, and the capital we have raised now will be deployed mostly around the platform and its operations,” he said. “We will continue to invest in deep enterprise integrations – with carrier platforms, ERP systems, point-of-sale systems and ecommerce systems.”