Cargo.One raises $42 million to algorithmically match cargo with air routes

Cargo.One, a real-time booking engine for the air cargo industry, today announced it has raised $42 million. The Berlin-based company says the funds will be put toward product R&D as it looks to expand internationally, particularly in North America and Asia, and triples its headcount to 70 employees.

This funding is especially timely as the air cargo industry mounts a response to the distribution requirements for COVID-19 vaccines. Cargo.One says its digital platform will help by addressing “structural inefficiencies” to streamline operations and providing options for shipping temperature-sensitive products. Two leading vaccines — Pfizer’s and Moderna’s — must be kept at minus 20 Celsius or below while in transit.

Cargo.One’s booking platform gives users access to real-time prices and the available capacities of multiple airlines. Shipping customers can directly book into airlines’ systems or request quotes for shipments of different sizes, from 1 kilogram (around 2.2 pounds) up to 10 tons. They receive an overview of all bookable capacities of multiple airlines and real-time prices directly from the airline, just as on the phone. On the airline side, Cargo.One can make booking offers automatically available when shippers search for capacity on air routes.

When dynamic pricing is enabled, it takes into account factors like time to departure, capacity fill rates, and customers to work out appropriate shipping price points. The Cargo.One platform also provides access to structured, real-time demand and market data to better price products and serve shipping customers. It also gives airlines aggregated information on the entire market beyond inbound existing customer behavior, with the goal of replacing the often arduous process of calling and emailing to agree upon shipping rates and prices.

In Q4 2019, an estimated $17.5 billion worth of cargo — 35% of all global trade by value — was being moved via airfreight daily. Cargo.One, which was founded in 2017, says that a number of major shippers now rely on its platform. As of early December, over 1,500 freight forwarding offices used Cargo.One in their operations. Among its airline customers are Lufthansa, All Nippon Airways, Finnair, Etihad, AirBridgeCargo, and TAP Air Portugal, and the platform covers over 1.1 million air freight offices per month across more than 120 countries and 300 airports globally.

Bessemer Venture Partners led the series B round announced today, which brings the startup’s total raised to over $60 million. Previous investors include Next47, Creandum, Lufthansa Cargo, and Point Nine Capital.

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