Massive Cooling of VC Funding for Freight Tech

VC funding in freight tech dries up in 2023 after massive investments during the pandemic period of 2020-2021.

Massive Cooling of VC Funding for Freight Tech

The logistics industry underwent a dynamic shift, with funding for startups surging and contracting quickly. A post from Tim Higham, CEO of AscendTMS, takes a look into the recent funding history:

  • 2019-2021: Freight tech startups received massive VC support, peaking in 2021 when logistics startup funding nearly doubled compared to 2020. The pandemic-induced e-commerce boom, which saw growth of over 25%, shifted the world's attention to supply-chain resilience, emphasizing the need for transparency and efficiency.
Growth in total funding from 2010-2021 across business models. Source: McKinsey & Company
  • 2020: North American and European FreightTech companies combined saw $12.6 billion from VC in 555 deals. Notably, Nuro secured $500 million in its Series C round, and Uber Freight acquired Transplace after a significant funding round. Valuations for startups surged, with pre-money valuations reaching $30 million for early-stage ventures.
  • 2022: A changing landscape as consumers reverted to pre-pandemic norms. Economic pressures from international conflicts, especially the Ukraine-Russia tension, alongside interest rate hikes, influenced VC sentiments. Acquisitions began to overshadow IPO listings, revealing the industry's appetite for cash.
  • 2023: The VC enthusiasm wanes. Recent data suggests a nearly 70% dip in deal value for supply chain tech firms. The freight tech segment's projected earnings fall below 25% of its 2022 figure. As VCs prioritize 'forced investments,' startups face tougher deal terms and greater founder dilution.

While challenging times lie ahead, industry insiders remain cautiously optimistic. Supply chain disruptions persist, prompting 77% of senior supply chain executives to invest in visibility. Plus, with e-commerce predicted to grow by 50% over the next four years, there's hope for the future of freight tech.

Sources: LinkedIn | McKinsey | FreightWaves

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