Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has participated in a $15 million Series A fundraising in digital logistics startup Beacon, fueling the company’s aims to disrupt the global freight forwarding industry.
Beacon is a UK based start-up which launched in 2018, the company utilizes artificial intelligence and cloud technology to improve the operational efficiency of its customers which are engaged in international trade.
The company offers a full range of services, including global ocean, air and truck freight, warehousing, customs, insurance and supply chain finance, all of which can be accessed and managed on a single platform.
In addition, Beacon provides its customers with a revolving credit facility, which can be used to pay international and local suppliers, as well as defer freight, VAT and duty costs, which sets it apart from its competitors.
The need for technology-led freight forwarding products and services has been accelerated by the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for more intelligent solutions.
Backing from Bezos suggests potential of Beacon
Attracting the attention of the world’s wealthiest is indicative of the potential of Beacon, additionally, as the founder and chief executive of Amazon, Bezos is highly familiar with the complexities of supply chain management.
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The investment not only highlights the potential Bezos sees in Beacon, but could also benefit Amazon in the long term. Beacon’s technology encompasses benefits such as optimized shipping routes and lower costs, something which could help solve Amazon’s existing logistics challenges.
Beacon was founded by two former Uber executives, Fraser Robinson and Dmitri Izmailov. Additionally, Pierre Martin, the company’s chief technology officer, previously worked at Amazon. As a result, Beacon’s leadership team has a deep understanding of logistics, technology and finance, which will only benefit its position in freight forwarding industry.
Beacon attracts a number of investment heavyweights
Participants in Beacon’s initial seed round included Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as venture firms such as Neo, Red Sea Ventures, Mantaray and FJ Labs., signifying the potential experts see in the company.
In the latest round of funding, leading US venture capitalist firm 8VC also joined Bezos amongst other investors. 8VC carries out investments in technology companies that are operating in a broad range of sectors including BioIT, consumer, smart enterprise and transportation.
Beacon intends to use $15 million raised from the latest group of investors, including Bezos, to expand its operations by hiring more staff to develop its existing technology. It is understood that Beacon is worth somewhere in the region of $60 million following the latest round of funding.
The interest Beacon has generated in its latest round of funding suggests that company has the potential to carve a significant market share out of the $1 trillion freight forwarding industry.