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Zencargo fetches over $4 mln

UK-based Zencargo, digital freight forwarder, has raised over $4 million in seed funding. LocalGlobe led the round with participation from Samos Investments and Picus Capital.


24 SEPTEMBER 2018, LONDON — Zencargo, the digital freight forwarder today announces its seed plus round, led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Samos Investments and Picus Capital bringing total funds raised to over $4m.

The company works with hundreds of businesses – from high-growth scaleups to FTSE-listed businesses and will use the new funding to accelerate its product development process and build a presence in China.

Zencargo makes it completely free for companies to digitise their supply chain. Its platform includes end to end visibility for shipments from purchase order to delivery. Getting the full picture of your logistics has traditionally been very difficult because of fragmented suppliers and manual processes. Zencargo’s customers utilise its Virtual Local Offices to gain visibility during production around the world. Customers use Zencargo to gain business insights, improve efficiency and save money. All these services offer the quality of digital experience that customers have come to expect from consumer technology.

Customers, such as wearable technology giant Catapult and market-leading mattress-in-a-box brand Simba, use Zencargo’s digital platform for real-time supply chain feedback. The features and functionality have helped Catapult to expand its supply chain to over 50 countries, with 98% of all shipments arriving on time.

Tom Hook, Supply Chain and Operations Manager at Catapult, said: “Working with Zencargo helped us digitise our complete shipping operation overnight. Their technology acts like an extension of our team; helping to increase visibility into our supply chain, minimising the amount of admin and communication required and allowing us to focus on developing and improving the way we operate rather than continually chasing it.”

“Our mission is to simplify and automate international trade, making it easier for all companies to access high quality services in what has traditionally been a relationships-centred industry,” said Richard Fattal, Chief Commercial Officer. “The supply chain visibility we provide is still very new in this sector and would have been an enormous help to me when I was working as a trader.”

The average company with 10 shipments a month can save 40 hours in admin time and costs – a full working week – every month by using Zencargo’s platform. The company cuts admin time by providing a central workspace, which pulls supply chain data from different systems and parties and displays it together in one place. This saves agents having to funnel information across email chains and shared spreadsheets.

“We’ve had an excellent first year,” said Mr Fattal. “We’ve attracted a lot of fast-growing digital companies led by a new generation of business leaders. These are the kind of companies that are driving productivity growth in the UK and elsewhere and we are enjoying helping them operate with greater efficiency.”

Mr Fattal added: “The more a company ships, the more time – and cost – it can save. That’s why a lot of enterprise businesses that are undergoing digital transformation have come to us – we can help them to take cost out of a complex process.”

“We’re very excited to be working with Zencargo,” said Tara Reeves, Partner, at LocalGlobe. “The team has an excellent blend of experience both in the shipping sector and in digital technology. It’s great to see a British company bringing cutting edge technology design and user-centred processes into an outdated sector for the first time. Zencargo has already created a central workspace for everyone to share information. This means that their technology can be adopted across business units to manage processes and automate at low cost.”

About Zencargo
Zencargo is a digital freight forwarder on a mission to simplify global trade. Its platform enables teams to work collaboratively, in real-time with instant visibility over the end-to-end supply chain. Zencargo works with some of the fastest growing businesses, helping them to manage global procurement and develop business insights to streamline their operations. Zencargo has recently launched Virtual Local Offices, that increase the ability for shippers to collaborate with their suppliers. Founded in London in 2017, the company has offices in Manchester, Felixstowe and Geneva.

About LocalGlobe
LocalGlobe is a UK-based venture capital firm that focuses on seed investments. Seeding ambitious UK founders since 1999 including Transferwise, Zoopla, Improbable, Citymapper, Algolia and Robinhood.

Samos Investments is founded by the Marquess of Salisbury and focuses on high-growth European businesses. Their most recent investments include Betfair, Ocado, Charlotte Tilbury and Papier.

Alex Hersham, Zencargo’s CEO, and Richard Fattal, Chief Commercial Officer, co-founded the company, with CTO Jan Reithmeyer. Richard and Alex, who are childhood friends and attended university together at the London School of Economics, had experienced the challenges of the freight industry from different perspectives. Mr Fattal, started his career at Morgan Stanley and subsequently was on the receiving end of the industry’s problems whilst working as an agricultural commodity trader in West Africa. Mr Hersham, who had worked at Goldman Sachs, saw the industry from an owner’s perspective in his role leading the shipping business for Cerberus Capital Management, a US Private Equity with $40bn under management.

The international shipping business has changed little in the last century – it’s still slow and opaque, with many processes carried out manually and on paper and Alex and Richard saw a chance to change that. They are joined by co-founder Jan Reithmeyer, who most recently built German loyal platform Bonusbox (raised $12m) and brings a wealth of machine learning experience to the team.