Flexport raises nearly $1 billion in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and MSD Partners to disrupt the $2 trillion freight forwarding market
Just a year after raising funding from a secondary market, Flexport announced on Monday it has raised $935 million in the late-stage funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz and MSD Partners with a strategic investment from Shopify.
The Series E round, which more than doubled the San Francisco-headquartered startup to $8 billion, also saw participation from existing partners DST Global, Founders Fund, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, and other investors including Kevin Kwok. In conjunction with the funding, FlexPort also announced that Bob Swan, Growth Operating Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will join Flexport’s board of directors, and representatives from Shopify and MSD Partners will join its board observers.
FlexPort said it would use the funds to continue to expand into new geographies and markets, and further the logistics tech ecosystem by investing in and partnering with new companies in the space. Flexport also said it will use the new capital infusion to accelerate the development of its technology platform for global logistics and continue building an ecosystem that’s efficient, transparent, and inclusive – everything that logistics isn’t today.
Founded in 2013 by Ryan Petersen, Flexport is a full-service global freight forwarder and logistics platform using modern software to fix the user experience in global trade. Flexport enables buyers, sellers, and their logistics partners to ship, store, and trade goods.
Exactly two years ago, we covered Flexport after the logistics startup raised $1 billion in funding led by SoftBank to deepen its technology and data capabilities, grow its global logistics infrastructure footprint, and invest in industry expertise to help clients navigate increasingly complex global trade environment. Back then, the startup operated its own 747 aircraft and employed 1,066 people across 11 offices and four warehouses.
Flexport uniquely delivers a combination of advanced technology, physical logistics infrastructure, and human expertise, providing fast and predictable transit times, visibility and control, and lower supply chain costs to logistics and supply chain professionals across the globe.
First to market with purpose-built cloud software and data analytics platform, Flexport today connects almost 10,000 clients and suppliers across more than 200 countries, including established global brands like Georgia-Pacific as well as emerging innovators like Sonos. Flexport offers a full range of services, including ocean, air, truck, and rail freight, drayage and cartage, warehousing, customs and trade advisory, financing, and insurance.
“The global pandemic and the pressure it put on global supply chains has made the transportation of goods — something many people took for granted — a daily pain point,” said Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of Flexport. “This investment signals that the market recognizes the need for a tech-enabled logistics ecosystem that has the visibility and resilience to handle unexpected challenges of any scale.”
The raise follows years of uninterrupted growth for the company, particularly in the last twelve months: Flexport’s revenue more than doubled in 2021 as it moved nearly $19B in gross merchandise for its clients across 112 countries.
“Global trade is facing historic challenges, which demand innovative approaches that address both the current difficulties and more systemic issues,” said David George, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Flexport’s platform, business model, and data-driven insights together uniquely position the company to continue making a substantial impact on this multi-trillion dollar industry.”
Modern companies must be able to deliver products almost instantly and be highly responsive to the expectations of empowered consumers — expectations that are table stakes in the consumer world but that the antiquated global freight forwarding ecosystem is often unable to meet.
“At Shopify, we see first-hand the challenges millions of entrepreneurs face when running their businesses, with logistics being one of the most daunting complexities in commerce today,” said Bram Sugarman, Director, Product Acceleration at Shopify. “We are so inspired by the progress Flexport has made in this critical area and are excited to support them in their ambitious mission to modernize the supply chain, breaking down barriers to trade for businesses everywhere.”