Logistics startup Raft, formerly known as Vector.ai, completed its series B funding round on 11 July, raising $30 million in investment, which the company has earmarked for R&D.
Founded in 2017, the company helps key players in the logistics industry apply AI or artificial intelligence to their daily tasks and customer interactions. Its intelligent logistics platform helps automate the execution of over 300,000 shipments each month
Raft said the fresh capital infusion will be used to increase development and deployment of core automation products, improve data collaboration across the ecosystem, and overall deepen the company’s market reach.
“We’ve always been clear about focusing on specific parts of the shipment lifecycle where automation has the highest ROI,” said James Coombes, CEO and cofounder.
“We recognized early on the pain points around accounts payable reconciliation and customs entry preparation, and we’ve since grown the product to help automate areas such as warehousing, booking confirmations, and more,” he continued.
“We quickly understood that our customers don’t want separate solutions for each of these areas, they want one AI-platform that offers best-in-class automation across the length and breadth of their business. That’s Raft,” said Coombes.
Raft noted that aside from automation, it is also bringing its data and insights to the customer-facing side, with its recently released digital shipment portal. The portal allows sharing both internal and third-party data with end-customers, offering tools such as multi-source container visibility, emissions reporting, and quote-to-book, which can work seamlessly with their TMS.
“One thing we noticed is that our customers struggled to take the fragmented data that sits across their business and serve it digitally to their shipper end-customers. We have clean AI-standardized data, broad exposure across the shipment lifecycle, and existing integrations across the ecosystem, and so we felt like we were well placed to offer that,” said Coombes.
Raft’s customers include 40 percent of the A&A’s top 25 freight forwarders, as well as the likes of EMO Trans, OIA Global, The Scarbrough Group, NNR Global Logistics, and Navia Freight.
Since 2017, the team has grown to more than 95 employees located in offices in the UK, India, and the US and is planning additional hires across product, engineering, and commercial functions over the next year, Raft noted.
The funding round was led by global VC investor Eight Roads with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Episode 1, and Dynamo Ventures, as well as Moguntia Capital.