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In hopes of transforming the old-fashioned shipping industry in Latin America, the Mexican-Uruguayan startup recently achieved yet another milestone. Last Friday, news broke that Nowports raised a seed round worth US$5.3 million led by Base10 and monashees.
According to a press release, other investors included Nowport’s previous backer, Y Combinator. Other involves Broadhaven, Tekton, Partech, Soma Capital and Gmail’s founder, Paul Buchheit, among various investors based in the Bay area of California.
The Latin American shipping, forwarding and logistics industry is as outdated as your taste in Avril Lavigne music.
Essentially not changing over the last 100 years, sending a cargo shipment involves an average of 300 emails between parties. It also requires certifications and custom letters, which further complicates and hinders the process.
Nowport’s AI-powered platform facilitates this process by making all the necessary information available to both parties. The platform enables users to request price quotes, load frequently sent products, and ship from any port.
Then the algorithm will calculate the best route to obtain the most optimal rate. Not only is it simple but secure and transparent, too.
Headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, the company also operates in Santiago de Chile and Montevideo, Uruguay. Following this round, Nowport is also seeking to expand to Sao Paulo, Lima and Cartagena.
In fact, the funding will go mostly to expanding across the region. It will also help grow the team and increase business development efforts. This way, the startup can integrate more logistics companies into its supply chain of partnerships.
Not only is the product interesting itself, but the market, too. Latin American logistic and freights companies bill over US$40 billion a year. All the while, this industry is full of human errors. For instance, half of the shipment cargos experience delays or go off-track.
“Even though over 90 percent of the world’s trade is carried by sea, the most cost-effective way to move goods en masse, there has yet to be a solution that’s able to connect suppliers, customs brokers, carriers and transportation companies to provide an efficient and reliable service,” said Maximiliano Casal, founder and chief executive of Nowports, in a statement.
“This is why we launched Nowports, combining our 10 years of industry expertise to fill this void. We are currently working with over 40 customers in the region and growing.”
Nowports is also reducing miscommunication and the hassle of manually inputting such tedious information. In the process, this decreases the amount of human-made mistakes.
In our latest coverage of the company, we said: the startup facilitates organization, communication and real-time chatting between the buy and sell-side. Their algorithm presumably reduces human mistakes to 0 percent and reduces 40 percent of the delays.
Caio Bolognesi, a general partner at monashees, said that Nowports caught the firm’s attention because of its strong solution.
“By adding efficiency, reliability, and transparency to change a multi-billion dollar industry, Nowports has been able to attract many clients that saw significant improvements in their daily routines by using the solution,” said Bolognesi.
Base10 shares the sentiment, especially when it comes to the founders.
“Alfonso and Max are the ideal founders we look to invest in as they are industry experts and passionate about evolving the industry using technology and automation,” said Adeyemi Ajao, a general partner from Base10.