Raising USD 18.6 million (EUR 15.84 million) in venture funding in today’s environment, when many are looking for loans or bailouts, speaks for itself when it comes to the rapid growth of the world’s first real-time ebooking platform. cargo.one can now follow through on its plans to expand to North America and Asia.
cargo.one has a number of plans taking it forward: onboarding new airlines, gaining new markets, and hiring 70 new staff. The latter is a move that will see the company grow in size by 300% before this year is out. You could say, cargo.one is swimming against the tide in the current economic environment.
Who is footing the bill?
The USD 18.6 million are the result of a Series A round, which was led by Martin Mignot and Max Rimpel of the global venture capital firm, Index Ventures, and wherein Next47 along with Creandum, Lufthansa Cargo and Point Nine Capital who have previously backed cargo.one already, participated, along with angel investors such as Tom Stafford of DST Global and Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, currently Chief Operating Officer of GoCardless and former Chief Product Officer of Skyscanner.
Index Ventures Principal, Max Rimpel, stated “The airline sector relies on operational excellence, but its back-end infrastructure is stuck in the dark ages. cargo.one’s platform doesn’t just help to bring air cargo bookings into the 21st century, but lays the foundations for a complete overhaul of how the air cargo industry operates, leveraging data to help both airlines and freight forwarders to run their cargo operations more efficiently.”
On to new pastures
Until now, cargo.one’s operating area has predominantly been Europe, and it counts 12 airlines amongst its customers, including Lufthansa, Finnair, Etihad, AirBridgeCargo, TAP Air Portugal, along with All Nippon Airways, which recently premiered the integration of its real-time capacity into cargo.one via IBS’s plug-and-play iCargo sales platform (CFG reported). In addition, over 1,500 freight forwarding branches use cargo.one, with ebooking figures quadrupling in the first half of 2020, whilst quotes already increased by around 67%. Airlines and many of the forwarders act globally, so the logical expansion now takes cargo.one into North America and Asia. cargo.one is also working on tools that will use data to enable airlines to offer more dynamic pricing, engage in better route planning and predict demand in volatile markets.
Martin Mignot, Partner at Index Ventures, said: “cargo.one has formed close partnerships with major global airlines, who have subsequently seen their cargo business expand significantly. Conversations with dozens of other airlines in the Americas and Asia show the clear need for a simple booking engine for air cargo, and early signs of the far-reaching impact it will have on the airline industry and businesses around the world who rely on it to serve their customers.”
Demonstrated its efficiency and worth
The breakdown in scheduled passenger services due to Covid-19, and the loss of cargo capacity, drove real-time ebookings with an unprecedented speed. The need for clarity on what really is available, in what timeframe and with what rate, massively increased in a market that is struggling to accommodate cargo demand. Currently only 20% of passenger wide-body capacity is flying, and instead a number of airlines have resorted to “preighters” to provide capacity supply.
“The new era of air cargo is being driven by universal access to real-time data,” said Oliver T. Neumann, co-founder and Managing Director of cargo.one. “It’s essential that the industry has access to tools that allow players to both respond and anticipate market dynamics. From day one, cargo.one has provided freight forwarders with an outstanding user experience and access to real-time data. We now plan to accelerate the release of major product additions that will increase the connectivity between freight forwarders and airlines and empower them to work more effectively together.”
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