Worldwide Freight Logistics (t/a Zencargo) secures £30 million Series B investment led by Digital+ Partners

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Zencargo, the London-Based Digital Freight Forwarder That Helps Businesses Navigate Supply-Chain Disruption By Making Intelligent Decisions, Raises £30M

Against a backdrop of large-scale supply-chain disruption, caused by Brexit uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent Suez Canal blockage, Zencargo will use the funding to further extend its logistics services and business insights to more customers around the world.

LONDON, MAY 11TH 2021 – Zencargo (www.zencargo.com), the London-based digital freight forwarder enabling organisations, from FTSE 100 businesses to fast-growing startups, to make smarter decisions through a real-time overview of their supply chain, has raised £30M // $41M // €35M in Series B financing.

Led by Digital+ Partners, and with participation from existing investors including HV Capital, Zencargo will use this latest round of funding to significantly grow its team – from 150 to 350 people over the next two years – and further expand internationally, to the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and the United States. Zencargo has now raised a total of £42M, and is targeting revenues of £100m for this year, and over £200m for 2022. 

Zencargo is a digital freight forwarder moving sea, air and road cargo, enabling businesses to be more efficient, accurate, and sustainable in their logistics operations.

Relied upon by the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Swoon Furniture, Farfetch, and Soho Home, Zencargo not only handles all the necessary components of transporting goods, from point of production to end-customer, including warehousing, packing, documentation, and customs clearance, but also provides complete visibility of the supply chain down to the item level. 

Founded in 2017 by Alex Hersham (CEO), Richard Fattal (CCO), and Jan Riethmayer, in the past year, Zencargo has more than doubled its headcount to 150 (from 65 at the beginning of 2020). 

Zencargo empowers clients to make data-backed decisions that on average drive up to a 4% increase in revenues, a 9% reduction in carbon emissions, a 6% reduction in transportation costs, and a 15% improvement in working capital, because supply-chain teams can focus on ordering and moving only the products they need at any given moment.

An Overworked Supply Chain Amid Unprecedented Disruption 

Despite the huge volume of goods moved every year, many traditional freight forwarders still rely on time-consuming, manual processes, using paper, spreadsheets and email. The unprecedented levels of disruption caused by Brexit, the Suez Canal blockage, and the COVID-19 pandemic – which has combined a supply side issue (due to closed factories and port employees being off sick) with a sharp uptick in demand (from consumers stuck at home and shopping online) – have created further complications.

“With global freight reliability so low as a result of the pandemic, Brexit, and even the Suez Canal delays, it’s more important than ever for businesses to make informed supply-chain decisions that will enable them to serve and satisfy their customers, and Zencargo is the perfect partner to help them do that,” comments Zencargo CEO and co-founder Alex Hersham. 

In the case of the recent Suez Canal blockage, Zencargo was able to create a live dashboard mapping its customers’ shipments with vessels that were affected by the blockage, then worked directly with affected customers to arrange mitigations and alternative plans.

Zencargo – Data-Driven Insights and Supply Chain Improvements 

Even in less volatile times, businesses often struggle to overcome supply-chain issues in time to get goods where they need to be, resulting in stock outs that lead to missed sales. Supply-chain inefficiencies, poor stock management, and ill-informed logistics decisions result in $1.75 trillion being lost each year, according to the IHL Group. According to McKinsey, digitising a company’s supply chain delivers higher profitability gains than digitising any other business area.

Through Zencargo’s freight forwarding and a comprehensive, real-time overview of the status of each shipment, businesses understand where all their inventory is, where it needs to go, and what needs to happen to get it there. Since Zencargo’s technology platform connects directly with global transportation markets and manufacturers, customers can see a full digital picture of the freight environment, helping them make improvements and transport cargo more efficiently. Zencargo also presents customers with information on their carbon footprint, enabling them to choose to reduce and offset emissions. 

Given the different needs for shipping different products (for example, furniture versus cosmetics), Zencargo works with customers to understand what is important based on their unique circumstances, and deliver actionable advice. For example, one company might decide it worthwhile to pay higher shipping rates to quickly service demand and avoid any reputational damage that a delay could cause. Another company, with tighter margins, might prefer to accept an increased lead time and avoid impacting their bottom line. Zencargo helps supply-chain teams weigh up these decisions, balancing their priorities for customer service, cost and sustainability. 

“We pride ourselves on the outstanding service we provide to customers, combining unrivalled industry experience and know-how with purpose-built technology so that our customers’ inbound supply chains are run in a far more sustainable and efficient way, enabling them to maximise growth,” continues Alex Hersham. “This funding comes at a time of significant growth for the business, and will enable us to grow our team and operations and provide critical support to even more clients.” 

“The freight industry has struggled to keep pace with innovation. Archaic processes are still in place across the board, resulting in widespread inefficiencies,” comments Patrick Beitel, Managing Director and Founding Partner at Digital+ Partners. “Zencargo’s cutting edge technologies, plus deep industry experience and knowledge, are transforming the supply chain, and that marries up perfectly with Digital + Partners’ mission to back companies with best-in-class technology and exceptional management teams. We are honoured to join them on the next stage of their journey.” 

“HV Capital is delighted to once again back Zencargo, a true leader in the supply-chain management sector,” said Dr. Christian Saller, General Partner at HV Capital. “The growth of the company, in terms of customer acquisition, headcount, and product development, has been remarkable, and that is down to the world-class leadership team at the helm.” 

In addition to expanding its team and operations, Zencargo will use this funding to make inroads into Trade Finance, under the leadership of its newly appointed CFO, Chris Greenacre, who has joined from B2B lending giant Sonovate. Previously, Chris was a Director at PwC, overseeing TSB and Metro Bank’s IPOs, the merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, and BT’s acquisition of EE.

About Zencargo

Zencargo is a London-based freight forwarder using software to provide a comprehensive overview of the supply chain. Its platform, powered by machine learning, digitises the end-to-end inbound supply-chain process, providing FTSE 100 companies and some of the world’s fastest growing businesses with complete visibility at each stage, from order to delivery. Founded in 2017 by Alex Hersham (CEO), Richard Fattal (CCO), and Jan Riethmayer, Zencargo currently has offices in London, and boasts a multinational network of partners. Zencargo has to-date raised a total of £42M from investors including Digital+ Partners, HV Capital, and others. 

About Digital+ Partners

Digital+ Partners is a leading technology growth equity investor focused on European and US technology companies with EUR 350 million assets under management. Digital+ aims to support ambitious entrepreneurs build global technology companies, providing them with strategic advice and long-term financial support to help them define and execute their growth plans. The fund focuses exclusively on B2B technology companies and leverages a deep corporate network to help portfolio companies access new markets and build new partnerships. For more information please visit: www.dplus.partners.  

About HV Capital

Since 2000 HV Capital, formerly HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, has invested in Internet and technology companies through various generations of funds and is one of the most successful and financially strongest early-stage and growth investors in Europe. HV Capital has already invested in around 200 companies, including Zalando, Delivery Hero, FlixMobility, Depop and SumUp. The total of all HV Funds amounts to €1.7 billion. The company supports startups with capital between €500,000 and €50 million. This makes HV Capital one of the few venture capitalists in Europe that can finance startups through all growth phases.

For press enquiries please contact Nara Communications

Nicholas Baines // [email protected] // 00447760 166 004 

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Safiya Marzook

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