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Main article: Venture capital Firms

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#ANGELS founding partner raises $25M for debut fund Moxxie Ventures

16:00 | 18 December

Katie Jacobs Stanton, a former Twitter executive and co-founder of the #ANGELS investment collective, has raised $25 million for her debut venture capital fund Moxxie Ventures.

As the sole general partner, she plans to invest between $250,000 and $500,000 in underrepresented and underestimated founders, Stanton tells TechCrunch, with a focus on “products that make life and work better.”

Stanton co-founded #ANGELS alongside Chloe Sladden, Jessica Verrilli, April Underwood, Vijaya Gadde and Jana Messerschmidt in 2014 with a goal of getting more women on startup cap tables. The #ANGELS, four of whom are Moxxie limited partners, share deal flow but invest in startups independently. Stanton said she will continue her work with the collective as she ramps up Moxxie Ventures.

“I wanted more agency over the types of companies I wanted to back,” Stanton said of her decision to raise capital from LPs rather than stick to investing personal capital. As for her decision to invest primarily in minority entrepreneurs, Stanton cited recent statistics.

In 2019, just 2.8% of U.S. venture capital invested went to female-led startups, a small increase from last year’s 2.2%. Despite efforts from new organizations like All Raise, venture capital firms tapping their first-ever female check-writers or new funds cropping up focused on the underfunded, the latest data paints a disappointing picture.

“We just aren’t moving fast enough,” Stanton said. “We need to take bigger swings to move the needle faster. The fastest way to make progress isn’t to move inside those existing institutions but by creating new ones.”

Stanton is not new to investing, having built a portfolio of some 40 companies over the last several years, including Cameo, Carta, Coinbase, Ethel’s Club, Lambda School, Literati, Modern Fertility, Shape Security and Threads. As such, she was able to raise the $25 million effort in roughly six months. However, even with an extensive network of Silicon Valley heavyweights, Stanton said she pitched 279 individuals and organizations before closing the fund: “I told myself if I’m not getting rejected daily, I’m not trying hard enough.”

The process made her a better investor, she said. A whopping 29% of the entities she initiated conversations with ghosted her after an initial reply indicating interest. “A fast no is a lot better than a long maybe,” she said. “It’s kind of like we went on these dates — it’s not like we had a great date — and I never heard from him again.”

Entrepreneurs, of course, are all too familiar with the concept of ghosting, as venture capital investors are prone to disappearing or elongating an eventual “sorry, we’re not interested.”

Moxxie enters the market at an interesting time for venture capital fundraising and investing. There are more funds than ever deploying more capital than ever. In fact, there are so many new sub-$100 million funds, there are new names to differentiate the sub $25 million funds, or nano funds, from the $25 million to $100 million funds, or micro funds. In total, U.S. VCs were expected to dole out more than $120 billion this year, surpassing last year’s all-time high of $117 billion.

The frothy markets have allowed entrepreneurs to be pickier than in the past, leading to swelling valuations and frustrated investors. Stanton, like any optimistic VC, said she plans to be very disciplined and committed to the strategy she pitched LPs, meaning she will do her best to avoid the buzzy Y Combinator graduates that seek a $37 million valuation right out of the gate.

“People are raising a lot more money now just because they can,” Stanton said. “I am trying to maintain some discipline and have some constraints around the valuation. When I hear things valued at $20 million at seed pre-revenue, I just back away. There’s going to be a correction at some point and I worry for those founders.”

Moxxie has invested in four startups to date, including women’s professional network Elpha, hiring platform Purple Dot, a soon-to-launch tool for arranging meetings called Sesh and Honeycomb Labs, a parenting tech startup.

“My kids were encouraging me to do this and I realized it really just takes courage to do what founders do every day and to create something from nothing,” Stanton said of the firm’s name, Moxxie. “I added the extra X for the female chromosome because of my passion for the broader female founder and investor community.”

I’m really proud of this,” she added. “It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done but it’s something that I think is important to do.”

 


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Healthcare-focused venture firms are forming a best practices group for securing health data

15:05 | 10 December

Some of the nation’s top healthcare-focused venture capital firms are banding together to form an advisory council with the technology security certification provider, Hitrust, to create best practices for data security for startups developing digital health technologies.

The conversations, spearheaded by the Nashville-based, healthcare-focused investment fund, Frist-Cressey, were designed to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies throughout the healthcare industry by creating best-practices around data security that large healthcare organizations demand before adopting a new service.

“Our service or our software want to be taken nationwide and everybody gets excited and thats’ when you get in front of the Chief security officer’s office and they ask if you’re HiTrust certified,” says Frist-Cressey partner Chris Booker. 

“It makes [startups] more marketable or more viable,” says Daniel Nutkis, the chief executive of Hitrust. “Organizations tend to be reluctant to work with startups… [Our certification] gave venture capital firms a level of comfort and we saw it as an opportunity.. Chris approached us to better develop a program more targeted at early stage companies… so that this becomes an easier program and can make it more wide-scale.”

So far investors including Ascension Ventures, Bain Capital . Ventures, Echo Health Ventures, Frist Cressey Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Blue Cross Blue Shield Ventures, Heritage Group, New Enterprise Associates and 7wire Ventures have all signed on to the venture capital advisory council.

For the firms, it’s simply a matter of protecting what is an increasing percentage of capital commitments. Investors have poured $50 billion into healthcare startups, according to data pulled from CB Insights, and nearly $16 billion of those investments were in digital health companies. Meanwhile, early stage startups are increasingly vulnerable to data breaches and lax security practices — failures of oversight that can mean the difference between life and death for early stage startups.

“Data breaches and privacy violations… these things can destroy a company,” says Booker.

 


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Venture capital firm Redpoint hires a ‘head of founder experience’

01:26 | 23 October

As access to top deals becomes more competitive, venture capital firms are creating new roles to attract top entrepreneurs. Now, in addition to recruiting top dealmakers, firms are bringing in culture experts and allocating roles to individuals who better understand and empathize with the founder journey.

In keeping with this trend, Redpoint Ventures, a venture capital firm with roots in Silicon Valley’s Sand Hill Road, has hired a partner and its first-ever “head of founder experience.” Travis Bryant, who joined the firm one year ago as an entrepreneur-in-residence, will be focused on how founders perceive the Redpoint brand, ensuring each individual moment a founder spends with the firm is as founder-friendly as possible.

Historically, VC firms hired investment partners to network, invest in companies and help foster those companies’ growth over a years-long period. Increasingly, these same firms are identifying new talent to provide to founders more attention, resources and support through the company-building process as a means to win access to top deals.

Earlier this month, True Ventures hired its first-ever vice president of culture, Madeline Kolbe Saltzman, who explained she would be guiding “the company and the founder to being the best they can be.” Bryant, for his part, will have a host of responsibilities, including supporting existing programs and services tailored to the needs of portfolio founders, and even remodeling the office to create a better “flow” for founders. Basically, Bryant will think through all the ways Redpoint can leave a positive, lasting impression on the companies it invests in and even the companies it rejects.

“The founder is the center of the solar system,” Bryant tells TechCrunch. “It’s not about them coming to pitch us. It’s how do we help them develop their idea and how do we give them the confidence to get it out in the world.”

One might have thought venture capitalists would steer away from the cult of the founder mentality amid the WeWork saga of 2019. Arguably, tech-founder worship allowed WeWork to garner a baseless $47 billion valuation as a result of the billions in equity funding its founder used to purchase a private jet, make several poorly thought-out acquisitions and commit other irresponsible acts that resulted in a delayed initial public offering, hundreds of layoffs and more to come.

Redpoint’s latest hire, if anything, suggests tech-founder worship is far from being erased. To that point, Bryant says his role is less about the founder and more about creating an environment that fosters more human-to-human relationships, bidding adieu to the traditional startup-VC dynamic.

“In the past, a founder might have just wanted to work with a VC because of their prior performance with a goal to just get money, but now it’s money-plus-plus,” Bryant said. “What are you going to do actively? What can you do to help them cross this chasm and get their idea out and make it successful.”

“The expectation of investors is much more significant,” Bryant added. “It’s not about writing a check and hoping to turn that check into something. It’s about adding value.”

 


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Silicon Valley is terrified of California’s privacy law. Good.

19:00 | 19 September

Silicon Valley is terrified.

In a little over three months, California will see the widest-sweeping state-wide changes to its privacy law in years. California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) kicks in

and rolls out sweeping new privacy benefits to the state’s 40 million residents — and every tech company in Silicon Valley.

California’s law is similar to Europe’s GDPR. It grants state consumers a right to know what information companies have on them, a right to have that information deleted and the right to opt-out of the sale of that information.

For California residents, these are extremely powerful provisions that allow consumers access to their own information from companies that collect an increasingly alarming amount of data on their users. Look no further than Cambridge Analytica, which saw Facebook profile page data weaponized and used against millions to try to sway an election. And given some of the heavy fines levied in recent months under GDPR, tech companies will have to brace for more fines when the enforcement provision

six months later.

No wonder the law has Silicon Valley shaking in its boots. It absolutely should.

It’s no surprise that some of the largest tech companies in the U.S. — most of which are located in California — lobbied to weaken the CCPA’s provisions. These companies don’t want to be on the hook for having to deal with what they see as burdensome requests enshrined in the state’s new law any more than they currently are for Europeans with GDPR.

Despite the extensive lobbying, California’s legislature passed the bill with minor amendments, much to the chagrin of tech companies in the state.

“Don’t let this post-Cambridge Analytica ‘mea culpa’ fool you into believing these companies have consumers’ best interests in mind,” wrote the ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani last year, shortly after the bill was signed into law. “This seeming willingness to subject themselves to federal regulation is, in fact, an effort to enlist the Trump administration and Congress in companies’ efforts to weaken state-level consumer privacy protections,” she wrote.

Since the law passed, tech giants have pulled out their last card: pushing for an overarching federal bill.

In doing so, the companies would be able to control their messaging through their extensive lobbying efforts, allowing them to push for a weaker statute that would nullify some of the provisions in California’s new privacy law. In doing so, companies wouldn’t have to spend a ton on more resources to ensure their compliance with a variety of statutes in multiple states.

Just this month, a group of 51 chief executives — including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and SAP’s Bill McDermott — signed an open letter to senior lawmakers asking for a federal privacy bill, arguing that consumers aren’t clever enough to “understand rules that may change depending upon the state in which they reside.”

Then, the Internet Association, which counts Dropbox, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Uber (and just today ZipRecruiter) as members, also pushed for a federal privacy law. “The time to act is now,” said the industry group. If the group gets its wish before the end of the year, the California privacy law could be sunk before it kicks in.

And TechNet, a “national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives,” also demanded a federal privacy law, claiming — and without providing evidence — that any privacy law should ensure “businesses can comply with the law while continuing to innovate.” Its members include major venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins and JC2 Ventures, as well as other big tech giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Verizon (which owns TechCrunch).

You know there’s something fishy going on when tech giants and telcos team up. But it’s not fooling anyone.

“It’s no accident that the tech industry launched this campaign right after the California legislature rejected their attempts to undermine the California Consumer Privacy Act,” Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, told TechCrunch.

“Instead of pushing for federal legislation that wipes away state privacy law, technology companies should ensure that Californians can fully exercise their privacy rights under the CCPA on January 1, 2020, as the law requires,” he said.

There’s little lawmakers in Congress can do in three months before the CCPA deadline, but it won’t stop tech giants from trying.

Californians might not have the CCPA for long if Silicon Valley tech giants and their lobbyists get their way, but rest easy knowing the consumer won — for once.

 


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Y Combinator-backed Trella brings transparency to Egypt’s trucking and shipping industry

01:20 | 11 August

Y Combinator has become one of the key ways that startups from emerging markets get the attention of American investors. And arguably no clutch of companies has benefitted more from Y Combinator’s attention than startups from emerging markets tackling the the logistics market.

On the heels of the success the accelerator had seen with Flexport, which is now valued at over $1 billion — and the investment in the billion-dollar Latin American on-demand delivery company, Rappi, several startups from the Northern and Southern Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia have gone through the program to get in front of Silicon Valley’s venture capital firms. These are companies like Kobo360, NowPorts, and, most recently, Trella.

The Egyptian company founded by Omar Hagrass, Mohammed el Garem, and Pierre Saad already has 20 shippers using its service and is monitoring and managing the shipment of 1,500 loads per month.

“The best way we would like to think of ourselves is that we would like to bring more transparency to the industry,” says Hagrass.

Like other logistics management services, Trella is trying to consolidate a fragmented industry around its app that provides price transparency and increases efficiency by giving carriers and shippers better price transparency and a way to see how cargo is moving around the country.

If the model sounds similar to what Kobo360 and Lori Systems are trying to do in Nigeria and Kenya, respectively, it’s because Hagrass knows the founders of both companies.

Technology ecosystems in these emerging markets are increasingly connected. For instance, Hagrass worked with Kobo360 founder Obi Ozor at Uber before launching Trella. And through Trella’s existing investors (the company has raised $600,000 in financing from Algebra Ventures) Hagrass was introduced to Josh Sandler the chief executive of Lori Systems.

The three executives often compare notes on their startups and the logistics industry in Northern and Southern Africa, Hagrass says.

While each company has unique challenges, they’re all trying to solve an incredibly difficult problem and one that has huge implications for the broader economies of the countries in which they operate.

For Hagrass, who participated in the Tahrir Square protests, launching Trella was a way to provide help directly to everyday Egyptians without having to worry about the government.

“It’s three times more expensive to transport goods in Egypt than in the U.S.,” says Hagrass. “Through this platform I can do something good for the country.”

 


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Joy Capital closes $700M for early-stage investments in China

08:18 | 29 July

Joy Capital, the venture capital firm that’s backed Luckin, NIO, Mobike and other investor darlings in China, just raised $700 million for a new fund focusing on early-to-growth stage startups.

Launched in 2015 by a team of former investors at Legend Capital, the investment arm of PC maker Lenovo’s parent company, Joy Capital made the news official (in Chinese) on Monday. It didn’t identify the limited partners in this new corpus of funding but said they include “top” public pension funds and insurance companies. Its existing pool of investors counts those from sovereign wealth funds, education-focused endowment funds, family funds and parent funds.

The fresh money boosted Joy’s total tally to over 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) under management, with a focus on backing cutting edge technologies and companies involved in the digital upgrade of China’s traditional sectors, or what Joy’s founding partner Liu Erhai (pictured above) dubbed the “new infrastructure” in an op-ed for the China Securities Journal. Targets can include the likes of logistics companies, online car rental platforms or bike-sharing apps.

As a relatively young fund, Joy Capital has so far achieved a few large outcomes. One of its portfolio companies NIO became China’s first electric vehicle startup to go public in the U.S. as a rival to Tesla. It’s also funded Luckin, the Starbucks nemesis from China that floated in the U.S. only 18 months after inception. The fund’s other big wins include Mobike, the bike-sharing pioneer that was sold to Meituan Dianping for $2.7 billion and fast-growing house-sharing unicorn Danke Apartment.

Joy Capital’s new raise arrived at a time when Chinese venture investors are coping with a cash crunch amid a cooling economy exacerbated by the expansion of U.S. tariffs. We reported that private equity and venture capital firms in the country raised 30% less in the first six months of 2019 compared to a year earlier, and the number of investors that managed to attract fundings was down 52% in the same period.

 


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New THC and CBD infused beverage company, Cann, joins the race to replace booze

16:03 | 24 July

Cann, a Los Angeles-based purveyor of CBD and THC-infused intoxicants, is rolling out its first major distribution through the venture-backed delivery service Eaze as it begins to hit the streets in California.

The company founded by two former Bain consultants is the latest to take on the growing market for non-alcoholic intoxicants that use a combination of chemicals traditionally found in the marijuana plant to make their drinks.

First dreamed up by Jake Bullock while attending business school at Stanford, Cann launched earlier this month at MedMen and is now selling its $30 multi-flavor six packs both in stores and through Eaze .

The beverages come with 2 milligram dose of THC and 5milligrams of CBD per can.

Bullock and his partner Luke Anderson met while both men were at Bain Consulting — and both have a background in consumer retail businesses. Bullock initially worked at the investment bank, Allen & Co., before moving over to Bain for consulting and finally settling in to a job at Bain Capital investing in the firm’s San Francisco-based private equity shop.

Anderson remained at Bain Consulting until Bullock pulled him away to start Cann.

Combining low doses of THC and CBD isn’t a new concept. K-Zen Beverages has raised $5 million from the investment firm DCM to roll out its line of intoxicants and California Dreamin is a Y Combinator backed intoxicant containing a whopping 10 milligrams of THC.

Bullock graduated from Stanford in 2018 and convinced Anderson to quit his job, the company raised cash through the fall and collected a cool $1.5 million for their venture.

Unlike other brands that are going for more fruity flavored beverages, Bullock and Anderson chose more herbaceous and floral flavors for their drinks –grapefuit and rosemary,  lemon and lavender and blood orange and cardamom (honestly, it seems they’d go well with alcohol rather than replace it).

“We’re really proud of it being an innovative flavor profile and really interesting with the microdose on THC,” says Anderson.  

Cash came in from tNavy Capital, a cannabis-focused hedge fund, and strategic angel investors like Bonobos co-founder, Brian Spaly, and Elizabeth Spaulding, the head of Bain & Co.’s digital practice.

For Eaze, which has stayed away from cannabis beverages, Cann seems to be a literal gateway for consumers who have been unwilling to try higher dosage drinks.

Screen Shot 2019 07 23 at 6.26.59 PM

Cann co-founders Luke Anderson and Jake Bullock. Image courtesy of Cann

“They see this big blue ocean of future cannabis users that they haven’t accessed yet,” says Bullock. 

Younger consumers seem more willing to experiment with intoxicants other than traditional spirits these days and venture capital firms are buzzed by the possibility of returns like the ones reaped by the George Clooney-founded spirit company Casamigos (which sold for $1 billion).

Kin Euphorics, backed by KBW Ventures, Canaan, and Fifty Years is using chemicals other than cannabis to get that buzz, but most investors are looking at cannabis for the high and euphoria of intoxicating returns.

Cann, did a soft launch in June with a limited release across four MedMen stores in Los Angeles. “You start really small and notice what people are purchasing and what’s driving repurchasing,” says Anderson. “We had this fortunate problem of it flying off of the shelf with its packaging and flavor differentiation.”

And the company’s founders are also aware of the blatant injustice inherent in their ability to launch a drug distribution and delivery business in 2019 in Los Angeles when the city’s minority communities have been ravaged the criminal justice system for doing the same thing.

So far, the company has taken the step of reaching out to 4thMVMT, the organization founded by Karim Webb to bring entrepreneurialism and investment to communities that have been damaged by the “War on Drugs”.

“We talk to them pretty frequently,” says Bullock. “We’re hoping that their first class will take over all their dispensaries… But we have a standing offer for anyone who they send over to us.”

For both Bullock and Anderson their involvement in the cannabis industry also ties in to their own identities as gay men. “The role that cannabis played in the AIDS crisis, when the process to decriminalize was driven by the real need for that medicine,” says Anderson. “We’re early and it’s young, but part of the reason we launched the business was to make an impact in communities with our company.”

 


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In-space shuttle service, Momentus, raises $25.5 million as investments climb for “new space” tech

19:00 | 17 July

With commercial launch services expected to reach $7 billion by 2024, there’s increasing demand for an array of new technologies that can offer advantages to companies looking to get communications infrastructure in orbit.

That’s one of the reasons behind the new $25.5 million financing for Momentus, which sells in-space shuttle services to move satellites between orbits.

The company joins other satellite and telecommunications technology vendors like Akash Systems, which raised $14.5 million for its advanced telecommunications chipsets used in satellites, that have raised money from investors who are looking beyond basic launch services.

A motley assortment of venture capital firms, hedge funds family offices and other institutional investors came in to finance the new round of funding for Momentus including:  Y Combinator, the Lerner Family, the University of Wyoming Foundation, Quiet Capital, Mountain Nazca, ACE & Co., Liquid 2 Ventures, and Drake Management. The financing was led by Prime Movers Lab.

With $34 million in funding to date, Momentus said it will use its new cash to continue the development of its two shuttles designed to move payloads between different orbits. As the space in space fills up, the ability to maneuver payloads once they reach low earth orbit will become more important.

“In the past 18 months, Momentus has rapidly matured their water plasma propulsion system to deliver the world’s safest and most affordable in-space transportation services. They recently launched their first demonstration and are on track to radically reshape the landscape of the space economy,” said Dakin Sloss, Founder, and General Partner at Prime Movers Lab, in a statement. “I look forward to Momentus delivering on their massive backlog of contracts and partnerships with NASA, SpaceX and other top players in the space ecosystem.”

A backlog of contracts is impressive, but the down payment on a potential flight is minimal compared to the ability to get on a vehicle, so companies tend to spread the wealth.

The money will also pay for building in house research and development for the company’s technology and additional flight demonstrations throughout 2020, according to Momentus chief executive Mikhail Kokorich. The company expects to generate its first revenue next year as well, Kokorich said.

The company has three flights scheduled for 2020.

 


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China startup deals shrink as fundraising for investors plummets

18:48 | 16 July

Chinese startups continue to weather tough times as private investors, caught in a cash crunch, are concentrating money into fewer deals.

China’s deal-making activity for startups in the six months ended June halved from a year ago to 1910, according to data from consulting firm ChinaVenture’s research arm. The amount invested in domestic startups during the first half of 2019 plummeted 54% to $23.2 billion.

The slide in startup investment comes as the money behind the money shrinks amid a cooling economy in China that is exacerbated by a trade war with the U.S. Fundraising for investors was already showing signs of slowdown a year earlier. In the first half of this year, private equity and venture capital firms in China secured 30% less than what they had raised over the same period a year ago, amounting to a total of $54.44 billion. 271 funds managed to raise, down 52%.

vc funding china

That money from limited partners is also flowing to a small rank of investors. 12 institutions accounted for 57% of all the capital landed by VCs and PEs in the period. Investment coffers that have gotten a big boost include the likes of TPG Capital, Warburg Pincus, DCG Capital, Legend Capital, and Source Code Capital.

Healthcare was the most backed sector during the six months, although proptech startups scored the biggest average deal size. Some of the highest funded companies from the period were artificial intelligence chip maker Horizon Robotics, shared housing upstart Danke and China’s Starbucks challenger Luckin.

 


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Nowports raises $5.3 million to become Latin America’s digital shipping answer to Flexport

19:38 | 21 June

Nowports, a developer of software and services to track freight shipments from ports to destinations across Latin America, has aims to become the regional answer to Flexport’s billion dollar digital shipping business.

Almost 54 million containers are imported and exported from Latin America each year, and nearly half of them are either delayed or lost due to mismanagement.

Nowports is pitching shippers on its digital management software to keep track of each container, and has signed on a number of leading venture capital firms to fulfill its mission.

The Monterrey, Mexico-based company raised $5.3 million in its seed round of financing. The round was led by Base 10 and Monashees with participation from Y Combinator, and additional investors like Broadhaven, Soma Capital, Partech, Tekton, and Paul Buchheit.

“In Nowports we saw a very strong combination: well prepared and ambitious team using technology to help thousands of customers to improve their importing and exporting processes. By adding efficiency, reliability, and transparency to change a multi-billion dollar industry, Nowports has been able to attract many clients that saw significant improvements in their daily routines by using the solution” said Caio Bolognesi, General Partner from Monashees, in a statement.

The company said it would use the money to expand into new markets, grow its team, and integrate with more companies involved in the (very fragmented) Latin American logistics industry. It’s a market that needs a range of better logistics technologies.

“Even though over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea, the most cost-effective way to move goods en masse, there has yet to be a solution that’s able to connect suppliers, customs brokers, carriers and transportation companies to provide an efficient and reliable service,” said Maximiliano Casal, founder and chief executive of Nowports, in a statement. “This is why we launched Nowports, combining our 10 years of industry expertise to fill this void and are currently working with over 40 customers in the region and growing.”

The company now has offices in Chile, Uruguay, and is planning to expand to Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.

“With platforms, algorithms with AI and integrations, our platform allows companies to take control of their shipments and plan & predict the best timing to move the freight based on the needs of their own company,” said Alfonso De Los Rios, founder, and CTO of Nowports.

As the company looks to expand, it has a strategic roadmap it can follow in  the growth of Flexport, the Silicon Valley startup that has become a billion-dollar business by applying technology to the outdated shipping industry.

The two co-founders of Nowports met at a program at Stanford University, with De los Rios hailing from a family with deep ties to the shipping industry. He and Casal linked up and the two began plotting a way to make the deeply inefficient industry more modern and transparent. To familiarize himself with the market for which he’d be developing a technology, Casal worked in a freight forwarder in Kansas City that had been operating for more than 30 years.

In all, freight providers are getting paid nearly $40 billion per year to move freight into Latin America.

“Alfonso and Max are the ideal founders we look to invest in as they are industry experts and passionate about evolving the industry using technology and automation,” said Adeyemi Ajao, General Partner from Base10. “We are proud to be investors in Nowports alongside our friends at Monashees and look forward to watching the company’s continued growth.”

 


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