Freight startup Flexport just nabbed $1 billion through a SoftBank-led funding round, and it's now worth $3.2 billion

flexportCourtesy of Flexport

  • Freight forwarder Flexport is now valued at $3.2 billion.
  • That's after a $1 billion investment round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.
  • Founded in 2013, Flexport is already the 11th-largest freight forwarder in the world.

Flexport has driven big-name investors into the less-than-thrilling world of logistics - Peter Thiel, Y Combinator, Google's GV, Bloomberg Beta, and even Ashton Kutcher.

And now, the freight forwarder, which operates globally, can add another enviable investor to its list: SoftBank. The Japanese bank's Vision Fund just led a $1 billion investment round into Flexport, which is now valued at $3.2 billion.

Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen wrote today that the funding will be used for "creating incredible experiences" for its nearly-10,000 clients and suppliers, who are located across 200 countries.

Read more: Amazon's CFO highlighted the power of it perfecting its own delivery capabilities, and it's a clear warning shot to UPS and FedEx

Founded in 2013, Flexport is already the 11th-largest freight forwarder in the world.

Usually, retailers don't directly manage how their manufactured goods move from, say, a factory in China, across the Pacific via ocean freighter, from a California port to the train tracks, and then from the train to truck to warehouse. Instead, retailers turn that complicated process over to a freight forwarder.

Flexport is different from others in the $2 trillion industry in that it relies on a technology-enabled platform to connect companies and those who move goods via air and ocean. Flexport said that allows companies to quickly assess where their goods are and when they're arriving, while cutting down on tradition freight forwarding costs.

Such platforms have become common across the logistics industry. In trucking, startups like Uber Freight, Transfix, and Convoy are directly connecting retailers with trucking companies or truckers.
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