Trucking technology startup Flock Freight today announced a $215 million venture capital round for its hubless, "freight carpooling" model, pushing the firm above the $1 billion valuation that investors refer to as “unicorn” status.
Although financial investors value so-called “unicorns” as rare examples of successful startups in a volatile business where companies frequently fail, the logistics sector has seen a flurry of newcomers also broach that billion-dollar threshold. Other recent logistics technology “unicorns” include the third party logistics provider (3PL) ShipBob, digitized freight forwarding provider Forto GmbH, fleet management tech vendor KeepTruckin, the delivery and fulfillment cloud platform provider Bringg, autonomous mobile robot (AMR) vendor Locus Robotics, and self-driving truck technology provider Plus.
And two other logistics newcomers joined that list in recent weeks, featuring the fulfillment robot vendor Dexterity—which this week raised a venture round of $140 million—and the
warehousing, freight and fulfillment platform vendor Stord, which today opened a new warehouse in Las Vegas to add capacity for the holiday rush.
As the latest member of the unicorn club, Flock Freight’s “series d” round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and included participation from Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLLP, Eden Global Partners, SignalFire, GLP Capital Partners, and GV (formerly Google Ventures). It follows earlier rounds of $50 million and $113.5 million, both in 2020.
Encinitas, California-based Flock Freight said it would use the new backing to further invest in its shared truckload technology that drives algorithmic freight pooling for more sustainable, efficient shipping. The firm will also continue to expand its talent and operations, especially in its new Chicago office that is set to open this year.
According to Flock Freight, its shared truckload (STL) approach is an alternative to traditional shipping processes like less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL). The company says its technology pools shipments that are traveling the same direction onto one truck and eliminates the need for terminals.