Injection lifts Turvo to top VC funding sphere

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https://www.joc.com/technology/injection-lifts-turvo-top-vc-funding-sphere_20181108.html

Originally Published in JOC.com

 

Investment is growing in startup collaborative logistics platforms that connect parties and break down silos between areas like procurement, visibility and payment. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

The startup logistics software provider Turvo has received $60 million in venture capital funding, another example of white hot interest from such investors in the freight transportation market.

The funding brings San Francisco-based Turvo’s total VC investment haul to $91.6 million, according to the financial database Crunchbase, and puts it near the top of the list of logistics startups in terms of total investment raised. That puts it in a small club of logistics startups that have attracted upwards of $100 million or more in venture capital, including Flexport, Convoy, project44 and Freightos. The size of funding rounds is growing as well, with Convoy landing a $185 million round and Freightos getting $44.4 from the the Singapore Exchange in September, and project44 landing a $45 million round in October.  

Turvo bills itself as a collaborative logistics platform across all modes, one in which parties associated with a shipment are connected through a web browser-based tool. The broader idea behind the system is allowing those parties – from shippers to carriers to logistics companies – to message and access data through a native communication function, much like consumers do on social media platforms. The system is primarily targeted at shippers, who pay for it via subscription, but it has tools specifically designed for carriers and logistics providers as well.

A gradual shift in the development of supply chain software

That approach is emblematic of a gradual shift in the development of supply chain software, which increasingly is being aimed at both tying together previously isolated processes (like procurement, dispatch, route optimization, in-transit visibility, and invoicing/payment) and connecting disparate parties through embedded communication tools. Logistics software startups are at the forefront of this development.

Turvo says its aim is to allow users to “share documents, send messages, and assign tasks to people both inside and outside the organization, reducing back-and-forth phone calls and e-mails.”

The company also touts its ability to provide context around those processes, so that, for instance, the relevant order, shipment or account is connected to a specific assigned task or message. The system plugs into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, picking up when orders become freight.

Turvo was co-founded by CEO Eric Gilmore, who previously worked in retail software and was director of communications for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer before becoming a product executive in Bing’s search business.

Turvo’s latest funding round was led by Mubadala Ventures, the San Francisco-based venture capital arm of Mubadala Investment Company. The software company said it added new investors G2VP and Next47, the Siemens-backed global venture firm. Mubadala Ventures is the venture capital arm of the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co.

Its previous investors include Slow Ventures, Felicis Ventures (which has invested in the digital freight forwarder Flexport), and Aaron Levie, the CEO and founder of Box.

Contact Eric Johnson at Eric.Johnson@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric