When we last checked in on Transfix in late 2015, the then two-year-old, 26-person, New York-based transportation startup was determined to use its tech to increasingly match customers needing interstate freight shipping with truck drivers needing to make deliveries.
It wanted to cut out wasted travel, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions.
The company has been chugging along ever since, evidently. Transfix, which now employs 110 people, just closed on $42 million in Series C funding led by previous backer New Enterprise Associates, with participation from unnamed strategic investors with “strong ties to the retail and logistics world,” says the company.
Altogether, it has now raised $78.5 million, including from earlier backers Canvas Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Bowery Capital.
What do these investors get for their investment? Transfix says its fleet management system does a whole lot of things, including enables users to track shipments, SMS drivers, receive alerts when a shipment will be delayed and calculate drivers’ fuel taxes. It says its transaction time is now almost half what it was back in 2015, too.
The company has also more recently launched an online marketplace platform so carriers can ostensibly select loads in a more efficient way based on the price they prefer, rather than merely allowing Transfix to make a match for them as it had in the past.
And it says it has also made progress in its ability to integrate more seamlessly with large enterprise customers when it comes to executing their shipments, working with their contracted carriers, and otherwise offering visibility into and analysis about their own supply chains.
We asked Transfix about paying truckers ahead of when vendors would pay them. When we’d last spoken, it was a small but growing part of the company’s business, and at least one competitor, Trucker Path, recently lined up $30 million in debt to lend to truckers on its platform.
Might Transfix also be doubling down on its lending business? Is that where the money is?
CTO Jonathan Salama says that one in five carriers sign up for Transfix’s “quick pay program,” which collects 2 percent as a convenience fee. But he declines to dive into many other specifics, saying instead that the company “feels strongly about supporting our truck driver partners and feels this is a great way to help them in a way that is meaningful to them” but that it’s “not a major source of revenue for the company.”
He adds that historically, Transfix has funded that particular service itself, but it is “very aware of the other options available to us in the market.”
As for competition more broadly — the trucking space has gotten just a little more crowded than the last time we’d spoken — Salama says Transfix is “acutely aware that there are other companies making strides in what is a very large market, where different buyers with different problems are looking for different solutions.”
With that said, he adds, “We think our vision of eliminating significant waste throughout the supply chain is of value for any large shipper, as well as any trucking company.”
Put another way, Transfix plans to yes, keep on trucking, no matter how many companies get in its lane.
That fresh $42 million should help.