FreightWaves, a fast-growing startup drawing attention for its data analytics and content platform, focused on the freight market, has closed an oversubscribed Series A round of $13 million. The round was led by logistics-focused 8VC with participating investors including Fontinalis Partners, Story Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and more.
This brings the company’s total funding up to $18.4 million following two previous rounds. FreightWaves began with their core product, SONAR, a SaaS data analytics platform that crunches data from the freight market to provide insights to brokers, carriers, shippers and financial traders on how the market is doing and project future trends.
Last year, they also expanded into a content platform of the same name which has rapidly become the most-read freight and trucking-focused publication globally.
“Our core business is tracking the freight market in terms of supply and demand,” founder and CEO Craig Fuller told Hype in an earlier interview. “So our editorial staff will write about what our data tells us is happening in the market.”
Fuller tells Hype that the company saw a $7 million run rate as of May, and he expects to finish out the year doubling that to $13 to $15 million.
FreightWaves is headquartered in Chattanooga, a leading logistics hub city, and won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition held in Chattanooga last month for a $100,000 investment. Following the competition, the Rise of the Rest fund contributed an additional undisclosed amount towards the Series A round.
“FreightWaves is building on Chattanooga’s legacy as a center of logistics innovation,” said Rise of the Rest Managing Partner JD Vance. “It is yet another great example of a company outside of Silicon Valley successfully leveraging local industry expertise.”
Lastly, New York Jets player Kelvin Beachum Jr. rounded out the big names adding to FreightWaves’ Series A. Beachum has made investments in logistics startups before, including supply chain software unicorn Flexport, which counts itself amongst the billion-dollar unicorn club.
“This gives us a lot of firepower to go to market,” says Fuller on their investor partners.
Fuller says the company is focusing on hiring, primarily in data science, sales and editorial staff. They have roughly 50 employees now, with the majority in Chattanooga but also New York, Atlanta, Dallas, London and Singapore, and Fuller anticipates reaching 80-90 by end of year.
In addition to hiring and ramping up sales, FreightWaves may look into acquiring companies in the data space. Finally, they are currently working to release their next product, a freight futures contract correlated to North American trucking spot-rates that is first-of-its-kind for the trucking industry, towards the end of 2018.
“It’s ready to go, it’s just building liquidity. The feedback is really positive, but it’s one thing to hear people are excited, it’s entirely different to actually go and get investments and that’s what we’re focused on now,” says Fuller.