Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Logistics technology start-up secures $97m funding

Steve Rogerson
February 5, 2019

California-based logistics technology company Next has secured $97m in a series C financing led by Brookfield Ventures, with participation from Sequoia Capital, GLP and others. This brings Next’s total capital raised to more than $125m.
The company’s technology connects shippers and carriers to meet growing transportation demands.
“The logistics space is under more pressure than ever before with more shipments coming into our ports than drivers and warehouses have the capacity to manage,” said Lidia Yan, CEO at Next. “We look forward to bringing new innovations to market to address this issue head on and growing our team with the best and brightest technology talent in southern California.”
Next will use the funds to accelerate product innovation and launch Relay, a service designed to address the systemic congestion at shipping ports such as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which account for more than 30% of all US imports. Relay is designed to bring efficiency and expanded capacity for drayage, the process of moving goods from ports to a shipper’s warehouse.
By combining Next’s virtual fleet and freight marketplace with owned yards, Relay effectively increases the number of trips that lorries can make to and from port, resulting in faster deliveries for shippers and greater earning potential for drivers.
Relay is currently live at Next’s Gardena, California, facility and has already seen early success in pilot. With Relay, drayage drivers increase earnings by up to 20 per cent, while local drivers increase earnings by up to 50 per cent. On the supplier side, Next customers have seen 167 per cent more containers pulled per lorry.
In addition to the Relay service, Next will leverage the funds from this round to expand its technology, operations and sales teams, and expects to open more than 150 positions in 2019.
“As the owners of 37 ports worldwide and the first fully automated terminal operator at the port of Los Angeles, Brookfield knows first-hand the unique and complex challenges impacting the transportation and logistics sectors,” said Josh Raffaelli, managing director at Brookfield Ventures. “We are excited to partner with Next and are confident that its differentiated technology, strong customer base and proven execution will enable the company to advance its position as a true innovator in this critical area. We are eager to work with Next’s talented management team and identify new areas of growth.”
Brookfield Ventures is the technology investing arm of Brookfield Asset Management. Founded in 2017, Brookfield Ventures seeks to partner and invest growth equity into technology companies that can leverage the diverse real assets and operating businesses that make up the more than $330bn Brookfield economy.
Next uses smart matching and predictive load technologies to match lorry drivers with capacity to available loads, streamlining the process and providing drivers with full control over their careers.
“Next continues to address the critical issues that face logistics management in the USA, from the nationwide driver shortage to congestion and operations at our busiest ports,” said Omar Hamoui, partner at Sequoia. “We’ve been impressed with Next’s ability to execute, and the introduction of Relay proves they have the team and expertise to continue innovating in ways that will ease the pain points of carriers and shippers. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Next as they enter this next phase of growth.”