Digitalising European trucking: sennder closes a huge £117M funding, becomes a ‘Covid unicorn’

sennder Image credits: sennder

sennder, a digital road freight forwarder based out of Berlin, has raised $160 million (approx £117 million) in Series D financing, surpassing a $1 billion valuation. Notably, the company has achieved unicorn status amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The round was led by a group of new investors, along with the existing investors including, Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A, and Scania. To date, the company has raised more than $260 million (approx £190 million).

How will the funding be used?

Currently, the European logistics and freight sector has a market size of $427 billion (approx £312 billion). The German company is planning to capitalise on this opportunity by investing $100 million (approx £73 million) into growing and developing its innovative technology. 

The investment will be used to expand the team, accelerate research and development into the automation, digitalisation, optimisation, and decarbonisation of road freight. Additionally, the funding will be channeled towards driving expansion into new European markets.

Connects shippers to trucking companies

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

Through its proprietary technology, sennder directly connects enterprise shippers with trucking companies, bringing greater transparency and efficiency to both carriers and shippers. 

Right now, it has more than 800 employees across its seven international offices. The business will move over 1 million truckloads this year, making sennder Europe’s leading digital road freight forwarder. 

Aims for a sustainable future

The company aims to make the logistics industry fit for a sustainable future; by using data to optimise route efficiency. It also reduces the environmental impact of road freight and decreases the cost of transportation. 

The Berlin-based company supplies transport services to over 10 organisations listed in the German DAX 30, and 11 companies comprising the Euro Stoxx 50. 

Acquired Uber Freight’s European business

In 2020 the business undertook two notable transactions: firstly, merging with French competitor Everoad in June and secondly, acquiring Uber Freight’s European business in September.

David Nothacker, CEO and Co-Founder of sennder, said: “I’m very proud to see sennder’s mission and vision become a reality. We are now an established industry player on equal terms with other more traditional sector pioneers but have maintained our founding spirit. As a data-driven company, we contribute to making the logistics industry fit for a sustainable future; ensuring transparency, flexibility, and efficiency in the distribution of goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a digitalised logistics industry. Throughout 2020, we helped our carriers increase their profitability by enhancing operating margins by up to 80% during a challenging time. sennder is uniquely positioned to drive industry digitalisation, benefiting shippers and carriers alike.“

Sonali De Rycker, Partner at Accel says: “It is always fantastic to see a portfolio company reach such a significant milestone. Well done to the sennder team – by revolutionising the freight industry at an unprecedented pace, they have quickly become one of Europe’s most exciting companies. 2020 highlighted the value that sennder’s innovative digital offering brings to the freight industry. 2021 is well-positioned to be another exciting year for the business. We look forward to helping sennder continue accelerating its growth across Europe.”

Christoph Schuh, Investment Partner at Lakestar says: “Just 18 months ago, we led sennder’s Series C fundraising. Ever since sennder has successfully demonstrated its ability to massively grow the business organically and via M&A. We are delighted to see sennder now positioned as a leading pan-European digital freight-forwarder. Especially in these unprecedented times, sennder shows how important digitisation is for the logistics industry, paving the way for an efficient future. We strongly believe in the leadership team and will further accompany sennder’s success journey.”