Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Booking and tracking start-up raises $5m

Steve Rogerson
September 4, 2018



Freight booking and tracking technology start-up DrayNow, a real-time marketplace for transforming the way intermodal shipping brokers connect with motor carriers, has completed a $5m series A funding round led by Comcast Ventures and joined by Osage Venture Partners.
 
“We’re passionate about removing the friction and manual processes from this niche of transportation that has struggled to innovate,” said Mike Albert, founder and CEO of Pennsylvania-based DrayNow. “Every stakeholder within the intermodal supply chain is asking for transparency and status updates in increments previously unimaginable due to our industry’s fragmentation.”
 
The company says it is reinventing the way intermodal freight moves over the critical first and last kilometres with a robust, tech-enabled marketplace. The instant load-booking app and match-making platform not only helps shippers and brokers connect to trucking capacity, it provides the first window into what’s happening with any given shipment at any time.
 
It will use the financing to grow its team and fuel an expansion into new geographies.
 
At a time when the intermodal industry is facing constrained capacity, with fewer than 5000 carriers able to access intermodal freight, DrayNow opens that market to another 845,000 carriers. The company’s steady revenue growth and freight volume increasing throughout 2018 are validating the value of a more accessible, real-time marketplace.
 
“Over the past six months, 78% of the loads posted on our DrayNow marketplace are taken in less than 20 minutes,” said Albert. “Both sides of the business – brokers and carriers – are capitalising on the simplicity and transparency of our real-time booking engine. And it’s not just the ability to match freight to carriers that’s driving the interest; it’s a superior experience. We spent the past six months asking our customers and users what they need, and then refining our platform to deliver total visibility, greater operational efficiency and other tools to help improve overall quality of life. Now, with the support of our great partners, Comcast Ventures and Osage Venture Partners, we’re better positioned to swiftly move into new markets.”
 
Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast, invests in innovative technology businesses.
 
“The shipping and logistics industry is an incredibly vital and growing part of our economy,” said Sam Landman, managing director of Comcast Ventures. “Yet the intermodal sector of the industry has seen very little technology enabling the match-making and operational efficiency it needs. We invested in DrayNow because the team and the technology establishes a much more efficient method for moving freight. In addition to being the first mover in the space, DrayNow has demonstrated an ability to build and refine an offering that addresses its customers’ pain points.”
 
DrayNow’s prior financing included co-founder investment and seed funding from Genacast Ventures.
 
The DrayNow marketplace is accessed by third-party logistics, intermodal marketing companies and brokers through a desktop interface where users can view lorry capacity in real time, post loads, track load status and obtain electronic documents immediately. With the mobile application, lorry drivers can get turnkey access to intermodal freight, browse loads, compare rates and details, select loads, deliver loads, and get paid faster.