Fleet today announced a $4 million investment round to help fuel growth of its online marketplace that lets shippers assess and accept quote requests from freight forwarders.
Hunt Technology Ventures led the round, with Placid Ventures, David S. Hunt, the 15717 Fund, Latam Partners, GrowthX Fund, NFQ, Telegraph Hill Capital, and others participating.
Founded in 2014, Fleet gives more buying control to companies needing to move product. The company said a major concern among small and medium-sized businesses is market transparency in regard to freight costs.
In response, it built a way for these businesses to stack potential freight forwarders against one another in a bidding process, while having access to past performance results via a Yelp-like review system. Fleet said its customers, which can use the service for free, typically save 20 percent when using Fleet and receive quotes five times as fast versus more traditional methods like phone or email.
The platform, which allows for quoting, payment, messaging, and shipment status, also helps freight forwarders reach new customers. Fleet makes money by charging a small fee to the freight forwarders — there are more than 150 using its service today.
Fleet employs 13 people, some of which who have experience at places like FedEx and UPS. Total funding is $4.5 million to date.
Fleet is also somewhat similar to Convoy, a new Seattle-based startup with an impressive list of investors that uses technology to help match trucking companies with shippers that need to move freight. However, Fleet is more focused on the international air and ocean market and also takes a marketplace approach, versus the on-demand style that Convoy is implementing.