Maersk heads group to invest US$22m in Loadsmart

  Oct.19--NEW York-headquartered digital freight broker, Loadsmart, has raised US$21.6 million in series A funding led by Maersk Growth, Connor Capital SB and Chromo Invest.

  This brings the total investment in Loadsmart to date to $34.7 million following previous seed investment and a convertible notes round. The current investment will be used to scale Loadsmart's operations team while doubling down on product and engineering.

  The investment by Maersk Growth paves the way for AP Moller-Maersk to expand its over-the-road trucking operations.

  Loadsmart said it leverages artificial intelligence to automate the truckload booking flow in the US. It provides instant prices to shippers with capacity guaranteed on all US lanes, the company said, adding that through its automated platform, shippers can book a truck in seconds manually or integrate via an API to have a server-to-server booking with no human intervention.

  In its announcement, Maersk Growth was described as "the launchpad for new ventures at AP Moller- Maersk."

  "We see huge potential with Loadsmart. Forward integrations between ocean shipping and over-the-road services can create incredible synergies and eventually provide a full service to shippers," said head of Maersk Growth, Sune Stilling.

  Maersk's investment in Loadsmart reportedly is the first-of-its-kind partnership between a container shipping company and technology logistics company, reports American Shipper.

  Loadsmart also signed a strategic partnership with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, with a "broad goal of collaborating in ways that are mutually beneficial to both organisations," the announcement said.

  Emmett McCann, managing director and co-portfolio manager for Oaktree, said Loadsmart has "advanced technology that can be deployed alongside our investment portfolio to digitise and accelerate supply chain and transportation logistics execution."

  Co-founder and chief product officer for Loadsmart Felipe Capella said, "We are at our core a data company. With the highest ratio of engineers in the industry, we were the first to introduce truckload instant pricing and booking and the market's first server-to-server autonomous truckload booking via our API. This tech-first approach has allowed us to set in place a fully scalable and automated distribution model."

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