Canadian logistics technology startup FleetOps has raised $6 million in venture funding for its vision of a freight marketplace that matches truck drivers with freight brokers by aggregating the data generated by vehicles’ electronic logging devices (ELDs), the firm said Wednesday.
The “seed funding” round was was co-led by Inspired Capital and Resolute Ventures, along with Hike Ventures, Basecamp Fund, Newark Venture Partners, BCF Ventures, Panache Ventures, and Brian Thomas.
While the digital freight matching (DFM) sector has become crowded with contenders in recent years, Toronto-based FleetOps says it has a different approach. Most other companies in the DFM arena—such as Convoy, Uber Freight, Loadsmart, and Transfix—act as brokers themselves, and have thus pressured traditional brokers to digitize their own operations to keep up, company founder and CEO Chris Atkinson said in an interview.
In contrast, FleetOps is not a freight broker itself, but rather markets its platform to ELD vendors as a “white label” tool, Atkinson said. Under that approach, ELD vendors will rebrand FleetOps’ platform and operate it as a load board so they can offer freight-matching services to their own customers—the truck drivers who subscribe to ELD networks.
While FleetOps obtains a supply of capacity through those ELD vendors, it collects loads to match with them by aggregating capacity from brokerages. To that end, the firm also said Wednesday it had forged partnerships with Loadsmart, project44, and Shipwell, joining previously announced partner C.H. Robinson.
The startup’s investors are betting that its approach of aggregating both freight capacity and loads from existing players instead of competing for those resources will pay off by creating a unique niche. “FleetOps is bringing a key technology layer to the logistics market, by enabling brokers to find drivers with available capacity and significantly cutting their costs. We are excited by Chris’s unique vision to leverage data and serve all sides of the industry as an additive technology partner,” Charlotte Ross, principal at Inspired Capital, said in a release. “FleetOps’ strategy has been accelerated by the ELD mandate and is directly solving the ‘empty miles’ problem currently plaguing the industry—according to many estimates, at least 20% of trucks drive empty.”