Investors continue to see opportunities to overhaul freight payment systems, backing the two-year-old transportation sector financial technology (“fintech”) startup AtoB with a $155 million venture capital round on Tuesday.
San Francisco-based AtoB provides a platform that modernizes trucking industry financial transactions through products like no-fee fleet cards, instant direct-deposit payroll, and access to bank accounts and savings tools.
The “series B” round was led by Elad Gil and General Catalyst with participation from existing investors Collaborative Fund, Contrary Capital, XYZ Venture Capital, and Leadout Capital. It brings the firm’s total backing raised to $230 million to date.
The funding follows years of investment in freight operations through technologies like digital freight matching (DFM) apps, application programming interface (API) connections, and real time shipment visibility. In recent years, money has also begun to flow to programs that seek to digitalize the transportation sector through more efficient financial practices.
In January, the Nebraska supply chain tech startup BasicBlock Inc. said it had raised $78 million in backing for its platform supporting financing options for the trucking industry. That round followed similar backing for startups like Relay Payments, a venture-backed fintech company addressing transportation payments for less than truckload (LTL) carriers, and CloudTrucks, which raised $115 million for its platform that helps truckers manage payments.
In a statement, AtoB CEO and co-founder Vignan Velivela said that truck operators and drivers have long lacked the basic financial services that most businesses take for granted. According to Velivela, truck drivers and fleet owners rely on under-regulated and exploitative fuel cards, which come with limited networks and prohibitively expensive fees. They also lack access to low-cost capital for maintenance, and are paid through outdated legacy systems, such as hard copy checks that often cannot be deposited while drivers are on the road.
“In industry after industry, enormous companies still provide customers with awful service—and AtoB is out to change that for truckers,” investor Roy Bahat, head of Bloomberg Beta, said in a release. “As one of the most common occupations in the U.S., truckers deserve better. It’s difficult to innovate on complex, established systems, and the rewards for the startups that succeed are massive.”