Santa awards those who behave well at this time of year. cargo.one has outperformed itself this year with a 700% booking growth rate and has therefore now managed to raise USD 42 million in a Series B funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
Add that to the USD 18 million received just 6 months ago in the Series A funding round, and it totals USD 60 million in just one year. The pandemic has seen a tsunami of demand for digital booking solutions, transparency, cost-effectivity, real-time information, and quick confirmations. Added to that the volcanic rise of e-commerce further fuelled by lockdowns, and forward-looking platform providers are the clear business winners. cargo.one Managing Director Moritz Claussen illustrates: “Between 2019 and 2020, we increased our user base by 300% with 2,000 freight-forwarding offices now using the platform in Europe to book real-time offers in the highly precarious market situation - in that time bookings have grown by more than 700%. To date, cargo.one has distributed more than 18 million offers to freight forwarders, serving 347 destinations around the world, and has delivered shipments to 122 countries.”
e-commerce boom drives digital booking boom
According to forecasts, e-commerce sales are projected to grow between 25% and 35% this holiday season. In comparison, 2019 saw just a (still impressive) 14.7% increase. In terms of parcel volumes, figures have doubled. In Germany alone, around 11 million parcels are delivered every day compared to the usual 5.7 million. Many of them from abroad, and most of them linked to online bookings.
Booking space for vaccine shipments
cargo.one is well prepared for the surge in COVID-19 vaccine transports that have already begin, given that it is the first digital platform to enable temperature-sensitive product bookings. Usually, online booking platforms are limited to simple booking requirements. This USP at a time where capacities are still greatly restricted due to the lack of passenger bellies, will prove highly beneficial over the coming months.
Bessemer Venture Partners are confident
The series B funding round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners along with existing investors Index Ventures, Creandum, Point Nine, and Next47. Bob Goodman, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, underlines the reason behind the funding: “cargo.one has quickly developed into the leading platform for digital distribution and booking in the air cargo industry. Unlike any other company, cargo.one has relentlessly focused on providing a world-class user experience.” Michael Droesch, Vice President at Bessemer Venture Partners, adds: “The results are outstanding. cargo.one provides a fundamentally better way for freight forwarders and airlines to book freight, leading to rapidly growing adoption and bookings across the industry. The company has had a fast and successful start in Europe, and we are excited to support their expansion into North America, which represents a large and attractive market for cargo.one’s differentiated platform.”
What will cargo.one do with the money?
Global expansion and further developing the service offer, are amongst the plans. cargo-one has been concentrating on North America, given that a number of American carriers have moved into the preighter scene and looking to best market the space.
Oliver T. Neumann, cargo.one Managing Director, predicts: “Soon every freight forwarder in the world will be able to access cargo.one and benefit from the advantages of digital booking. We will use the funds raised to build on our success in Europe, onboard more airline partners, grow our user base of freight forwarders globally, and deepen the expansion into North America and Asia. And, as global distribution of the vitally important COVID-19 vaccine ramps up, we are expanding our product offerings to make all pharma shipments bookable across our partner airlines as the first multi-airline platform to ever do so.” The press release cites the development of further “tools that use data to let airlines offer more dynamic pricing, engage in better route planning and predict demand in volatile markets as well as adding more products for booking through 2021.”
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