Edinburgh-based VC leads $80M funding in freight startup Sennder, joins $1B+ unicorn club


Based out of Berlin, sennder is a digital freight-forwarding company that connects large commercial shippers with small freight carriers.

Raised £56.3 million

Recently, the German company raised an additional $80 million (approx £56.3 million) in the second closing of its Series D funding round led by the Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford. It’s worth noting that Baillie Gifford is an independently owned investment management firm, owned and run by 39 of its senior executives who operate as a partnership.

Notably, the company’s existing investors including Accel, Lakestar, HV Ventures, Scania and Project A, also participated in the round. 

Earlier in January, the company raised $160 million (approx £113M) in the first closing of its Series D funding. The latest investment of $80 million (approx £56.3 million) brings the total funding in the Series D round to $240 million (approx £169 million). 

To date, the company has raised more than $350 million (approx £247 million), at a valuation of more than $1 billion.  

How will the funding be used?

The new funds will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and expansion into new regions. Further, the latest funds will also drive research and development into the automation, digitalisation, and decarbonisation of road freight.

sennder will expand its technology offering by continuing to deploy the initial capital raised in January 2021 to grow the team across its eight European hubs and further develop the platform’s SaaS capabilities.

Working towards a sustainable future

Founded by David Nothacker, Julius Köhler, and Nicolaus Schefenacker in 2015, sennder offers shippers access to our connected fleet of thousands of trucks. 

sennder manages over 12,500 trucks servicing ten German DAX 30 and eleven Euro Stoxx 50 shippers – moving more than 1 million truckloads in 2021.

As the platform scales, the German unicorn will now offer shippers and carriers more routes, greater visibility, bigger efficiency savings while decreasing carbon emissions, claims the company.

Acquisition and partnerships

In 2020, the company cemented its position by acquiring digital freight forwarders Uber Freight Europe and Everoad. Recently, the company has acquired of Dutch logistics player, Cars&Cargo, and strategic partnership with Zeitfracht.

Further, the company also entered into a joint venture with the Italian postal service, Poste Italiane, making sennder Italia the largest domestic FTL (full truckload) freight forwarder.

David Nothacker, CEO and Co-Founder of sennder, says: “We are delighted to have carried our momentum from 2020 into 2021, having already made one acquisition and signed several strategic partnerships. We look to expand our European footprint, bringing more carriers and shippers onto the sennder platform, while expanding our digital offering – such as SaaS. Acquisitions and strategic partnerships are part of this strategy – the additional funds give us the flexibility to capitalize on the right opportunities. Baillie Gifford has backed a wave of revolutionary tech companies; their commitment to sennder is a vote of confidence in our team, technology, and business model.”

Stephen Paice, Co-manager, Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust PLC, says: “We are delighted to join the sennder team on its journey to disrupt Europe’s logistics industry. We strongly believe its technology has the potential to create tremendous value for stakeholders and society in an industry plagued with inefficiencies and needless CO2 emissions. What’s particularly impressive, beyond the progress shown so far, is the purpose-driven and entrepreneurial mindset instilled within the company. This will no doubt be an important factor for long-term success.”