Logixboard wants to help companies better manage and control their freight operations, and it just raised $4.2 million to do it.
The startup, a member of the 2019 Techstars Seattle class, is building a customer engagement platform for the freight forwarding industry, a $2 trillion market, according to Logixboard. Today, much of the work of managing freight shipments is done via phone, email and Excel spreadsheets, with a single quote sometimes taking up to 100 hours to put together, the company said.
Logixboard’s software integrates with existing systems, automates parts of the process and provides data insights to give customers greater visibility into the business. One of its key customers so far is Transborder SAS, which has processed millions of dollars in shipments using the Logixboard platform.
“Engagement platforms are critical to any customer-facing industry, and freight forwarders have been largely ignored and left behind by software providers driving digitalization in other sectors. We are filling a unique market need by helping freight forwarders better serve their customers,” Logixboard CEO Julian Alvarez said in a statement.
He added: “Our platform helps the hundreds-of-thousands traditional freight forwarders digitize processes and customer experience to keep up with disruptive companies like Flexport,” referencing the San Francisco freight forwarding startup valued at more than $3 billion.
Alvarez described Logixboard as a SaaS platform that empowers any freight forwarder to digitize, while calling Flexpost a “digitally-enabled logistics company.”
Logixboard has 11 employees, with engineering, product, and leadership based in Seattle, and a small team in Bogota, Colombia. By the end of next year, the company expects to grow to 35 employees, and it plans to have people in Europe and Asia as well.
Alvarez founded the company with his brother Juan in Florida but later re-located the headquarters to Seattle. The brothers came west for Techstars and “never looked back,” Julian Alvarez said.
“We only went back to Miami to pack our bags/apartment,” he added.
Social Leverage led the round, with participation from F-Prime Capital, Founders’ Co-op, Techstars Venture Fund, Liquid 2 VC, Bragiel Brothers and DocuSign founder Tom Gonser. Logixboard has raised $4.5 million to date.
Chris DeVore, managing partner at Founders’ Co-op, called the Alvarez brothers “an incredible team.” He likened Logixboard to Outreach, another Founders’ Co-op portfolio company and a Seattle sales automation startup valued at more than $1 billion.
“From a business model perspective we see strong parallels between what Loxigboard does for the huge and fragmented global freight forwarding business and what Outreach did for enterprise go-to-market teams: in both cases, the daily, customer facing workflow is largely manual, supported by a complex back-end-system that professionals hate to use,” DeVore said. “By putting a modern software layer on top of that legacy ‘system of record,’ both Logixboard and Outreach offer a user-centered ‘system of engagement’ that delights customers and the professionals who support them, leveraging the power of the legacy system while obscuring its complexity and poor user experience.”
Shipping and logistics have become popular targets for disruption among startups in the Pacific Northwest. Convoy has become a billion-dollar company, operating a nationwide digital freight network that uses technology to automatically match shippers with carriers, better utilizing trucks that traverse the country. Another example is Flexe, a Seattle logistics startup that operates an on-demand warehouse marketplace.
Amazon, which Alvarez called “the most significant logistics operation globally” has helped make the Pacific Northwest a hotbed for shipping tech. Expeditors, one of the biggest freight forwarders in the U.S., is also based in Seattle.
“The intersection of supply chain and technology talent in Seattle is the top globally, hence our reason for relocating here,” Alvarez said.