Nowports raises $150 million to facilitate international trade in Latin America

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Many Latin American companies are successful, and Nowports is one that stands out. It is a freight agent that facilitates import and export for Latin American companies, offering support in logistics, capital, security, transport and economic intelligence. Although the company has only been around since 2018, its effective solutions have led to rapid growth, which shows no signs of slowing down. Take a look at the article below to learn more.

Nowports, an automated digital freight forwarder in Latin America, raised $150 million in a Series C funding round that values ​​the company at $1.1 billion.

For the unfamiliar, digital freight forwarders use digital tools that improve communication and efficiency in the shipping process, among other things, to help shipments get where they need to go in a timely manner. With so much attention focused on supply chain issues since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of an efficient supply chain is more apparent than ever. To quote my colleague Anna Heim, the digitization of freight transport is a global challenge because the sector still lacks transparency and efficiency. Latin American startups have a steeper hill to climb, but it also pushes them to innovate and help each other in interesting ways.

Nowport’s raise – led by SoftBank Latin America Fund – comes just six months after the Monterey, Mexico-based startup announced it had secured $60 million in a series funding round. B led by Tiger Global Management. It is also Nowports’ third capital raise in less than a year and brings its total funding to more than $240 million since its inception in 2018. The company also raised $16 million in a Series A funding round reported by TechCrunch in July 2021.

The startup’s valuation jump is huge, given that Nowport was valued at $80 million in March 2021, according to CEO and co-founder Alfonso De los Ríos. In the first quarter of 2022, the company saw revenue grow “more than 12x” year-over-year, he said, while achieving 10x year-on-year growth. on the other, containers shipped and customers served.

Nowports launched its first seed round in 2019 after graduating from Y Combinator’s 2019 Winter Batch with a mission to innovate the freight forwarding industry by helping businesses – with a focus on SMEs – to improve the import process. As former TC reporter Jonathan Shieber put it, the company was “set[ing] become the Flexport of Latin America. Its software and services track freight shipments from ports to destinations across Latin America. Over time, it has expanded its offerings and now also automates insurance policies and provides inventory financing to its customers.

Simply put, Nowports aims to streamline the import and export processes of Latin American companies and improve the visibility of their supply chains with “valuable insights”.

The company’s inventory financing tool, launched last year, is designed to give its customers the ability to acquire more goods to import and pay for them later. The end goal is to help companies increase their imports and exports through fintech.

“They can get faster funding with Nowports since we can use our shipping history and pre-loaded information to approve them,” De los Ríos said. “We started with inventory financing late last year and plan to offer it in all the countries we work on by the end of this year.”

The move, in addition to offering cargo insurance, is part of Nowport’s aim to serve as a one-stop-shop for the businesses it serves.

In the first quarter of 2022, Nowports started operations in Panama and expanded to Concepcion, Chile, and Medellin, Colombia. Today, the startup has 10 active offices in seven countries, including Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and Panama. It has more than 500 employees.

The company plans to use its new capital to, naturally, do more hiring with a focus on engineering for technology development. It also plans to expand its presence in countries where it already operates and open offices in more cities. The first planned openings will take place in Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

Tiger Global, Foundation Capital, Monashees, Broadhaven Ventures, Mouro Capital and Base10 Partners also participated in the latest round. Bitso’s Daniel Vogel, Incode’s Ricardo Amper, Deel’s Alex Bouaziz and Kavak’s Roger Laughlin also participated in the round.

“We didn’t expect to start Series C so quickly, but we were growing by leaps and bounds, now competing in the top five countries for maritime trade, joining the fintech environment and with a strong team,” De said. los Rios at TechCrunch. “We needed a new round of investment to expand our financing services and create a solid platform. We are confident that we can revolutionize the supply chain faster with this new capital. »

Juan Franck, managing partner of SoftBank Latin America Fund, said Nowports has all the characteristics the company looks for in a startup: “technology at its heart, a promising business model, exceptional founders and a solution to a complex challenge, with great potential for transformation, starting with Latin America.

He is also impressed with the company’s use of artificial intelligence, big data and IoT to improve the import and export chain.

“We believe this investment will help Nowports consolidate its presence in the Brazilian market and create new services and solutions, becoming a true benchmark for innovation in Latin America,” added Franck.

The original article can be found on TechCrunch.

Spencer Hulse is editor at Grit Daily News. It covers affiliate, viral and marketing news.

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