Sound that bell ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got another unicorn. Berlin-based digital freight forwarding and supply chain solutions (read: logistics) provider Forto has raised a hefty $240 million. With this round, Forto now weighs in at a $1.2 billion valuation. To date, the startup has raised $360 million.
Forto, a.k.a. FreightHub shipped in 2016, and has experienced consistent growth year over year. The startup has been on an express delivery path, with operations in Europe and Asia seemingly exploding overnight. We spoke to Michael Ardelt, Forto’s Managing Director late last year about the company’s scaling efforts.
Forto has two guiding documents working in concert: the navigating model and the operating model. “These are the two pillars of our playbook,” comments Ardelt. “You have the navigating model answering the questions of ‘where do we want to go?’ and ‘why is this a great thing?’ Then, our operating model tells us how to get there.”
In addition to all the “traditional” features you’d expect from a logistics company, Forto reports that more than half of its customers utilise the company’s carbon-offsetting product, and the firm pioneered the “1+1” method whereby they double the CO2 compensation of every customer, a move that supports a “cimate-positive” transportation environment.
“Logistics is the backbone of global commerce. Data analytics, machine learning, and process automation will reshape the global delivery of goods and services,” commented lead investor SoftBank’s Karol Niewiadomski. “Forto’s centralized platform leverages these technologies to boost operational efficiency, lower handling costs, and increase transparency for their customers.”
As part of the deal, SoftBank’s Nahoko Hoshino will join the Forto board. Additional investors for the round include Citi Ventures and G Squared, with existing investors including Northzone, Cherry Ventures, and Unbound all taking part.