German Freight Forwarder Sennder Raises $80 Million At $1 Billion Valuation

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German freight-forwarding startup sennder raised an additional $80 million in its January Series D funding round, bringing the total to $240 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion.  

Headquartered in Berlin and founded in 2015, sennder is Europe’s most valuable digital freight forwarder, according to a press release, which noted the company’s fundraising efforts have brought in more than $350 million to date.

The startup acquired Uber Freight Europe and Everoad in 2020. Last month, sennder picked up Cars&Cargo and “signed several strategic partnerships,” said David Nothacker, CEO and co-founder of sennder. One such partnership was with Zeitfracht.

The company also partnered with Italy’s postal service Poste Italiane, which gave sennder the status of being the agency’s largest domestic FTL (full truckload) freight forwarder, per the release. 

Nothacker said that the company has expansion plans that include adding additional carriers and shippers as well as growing its presence in Europe. Additional offerings are also planned, like software-as-a-service (SaaS). 

The startup’s growth trajectory also includes more “acquisitions and strategic partnerships,” such as purchasing local road freight companies to “enhance truck supply and increase network density on its sennOS platform,” per the release. 

“The additional funds give us the flexibility to capitalize on the right opportunities,” Nothacker added.

This latest funding came from new investor Baillie Gifford, which has backed Amazon, Spotify, Tesla and other high-growth tech firms. J.P. Morgan Securities was the placement agent for the fundraise.

The shipping and logistics space faced dramatic changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the world pivoted to a digital-first economy. Adding to the pressure of increased demand were factory shutdowns that disrupted the manufacturing and production process.

In an interview with Karen Webster, Grant Goodale, co-founder and chief technology officer at Convoy, a trucking services technology firm, said last June that the market climate brought by the pandemic accelerated the industry’s drive for flexibility. But even for companies that were digitally native, the pivot wasn’t easy.




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