Nowports, an automated digital freight forwarder in Latin America, has raised $ 16 million in Series A funding.
Mouro Capital – a venture capital fund focused on fintechs and adjacent companies backed by Banco Santander – led the tour of the Monterrey, Mexico-based startup. Foundation Capital also participated in the financing, which included participation from existing funders Broadhaven Ventures, InvestoVC, Monashees, Base10 Partners and Y Combinator.
A number of angels also put money into the trick, including Justo.mx founder Ricardo Weder, Luuna de Luuna’s Carlos Salinas, and Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen. The investment brings the total raised by Nowports since its inception in 2018 to more than $ 24 million.
Nowports has raised its first selection round in 2019 after graduating from the winter 2019 promotion of Y Combinator with the mission of innovating in the forwarding sector by helping companies improve the import process. Its software and services track freight shipments from ports to destinations across Latin America. Over time, it has broadened its offering and now also automates insurance policies and provides financing to its clients.
“In this way, we allow our customers to import and export more, which helps them to develop their activities and improves the foreign trade conditions of the region,” said Alfonso de los Rios, CEO and co- founder of Nowports.
2020 has been a good year for Nowports, which saw its turnover increase by 605% compared to 2019.
“Our target for 2021 is 400% to 600%,” de los Rios told TechCrunch.
The company currently has offices in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay. Nowports plans to use its new capital in part to expand its 160-person team in China, according to de los Rios. It also plans to expand its logistics and financial services and “solidify its most important routes”.
“With platforms, AI algorithms and integrations, our platform enables businesses to take control of their shipments and plan and predict the best time to move freight based on their own business needs. “, he said at the time of the creation of the company. raise. “Our goal with Series A is to position ourselves as the largest digital freight forwarder in the region and to expand our venture financing solution.”
Tens of millions containers are imported and exported from Latin America every year, and nearly half of them are either delayed or lost due to mismanagement. And, an estimate 50% of shipping containers experience delays due to disorganized processes or errors during transportation, which ends up costing businesses billions per year. It is a great opportunity. And, Nowports promises shippers that its digital management software will keep track of every container.
“The slow, inefficient and manual processes of international logistics are out of touch with today’s technological world,” said Maximiliano Casal, co-founder and COO of Nowports. “Customers are looking for solutions capable of improving their logistics processes adapted to the current challenges of international trade.
The two co-founders of Nowports met during a program at Stanford University, with de los Rios coming from a family closely linked to the shipping industry. He and Casal bonded and the two began to chart a way to make the deeply inefficient industry more modern and transparent. To familiarize himself with the market for which he would develop technology, Casal worked with a Kansas City forwarder who had been operating for over 30 years.
Michael Sidgmore, co-founder and partner of Broadhaven Ventures, the seed cycle lead investor, described the team as “visionaries in the freight forwarding industry who see the ability to build the operating system. for the shipping industry, much like Carta did for the equity investment. “
The need to track and digitize the supply chain process has never been more evident than with the recent blockade of the Suez Canal by Ever Given, which has become a meme representing the impacts of inefficiencies in the supply chain. ‘supply, said Sidgmore.
“Nowports has created cutting edge technology to help its customers know when to turn to starboard or port,” he added.
Chris Gottschalk, senior advisor to Mouro Capital, said the Nowports platform brings both “transparency and technology” to a global customer base.