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Chicago-based startups wants to be the underlying platform for the fragmented trucking industry
Chicago-based FourKites, a provider of trucking logistics for shipping companies and freight brokers, just raised $1.25 million in seed funding, its first round since being founded in 2012. The round was led by Hyde Park Venture Partners, based in Chicago. Hyde Park is also the VC behind another transportation-related startup, Dolly.
Founder Mathew Elenjickal started FourKites, after spending several years helping to optimize the supply chain for the shipping industry. It was there that he dealt with a lot of trucks and saw the opportunity to provide real-time location information of those trucks. Today, many trucks have GPS systems, but the location information is held in the hands of the trucking companies, said Elenjickal. End customers, such as the shipping companies, that want to know the location or status of the trucks have to pick up the phone and get that information from the trucking companies.
With FourKites, that location information is now available online. Shipping companies pay FourKites for that real-time info via a subscription service. At the moment, FourKites has 12 paying customers. And through those customers, it is connected to 250 to 300 trucking companies. There are about half-a-million trucking companies in the country today, said Elenjickal.
Elenjickal would not disclose the subscription price, but said that today, his clients are paying anywhere from $3-$5 to a person to call trucking companies to get location updates. "That's a cost we can eliminate," said Elenjickal.
Today, FourKites is tracking more than a thousand loads a day.
(Image source: Globalpatentsolutions)
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FourKites is reinventing the complex communication systems in the logistics industry by providing a cloud-based SaaS platform that allows for seamless communication and real-time collaboration across the various entities in the logistics landscape. The company enables shippers, freight brokers and third party logistics providers to monitor the exact location of trucks and the freight status based on data from Electronic Logging Devices (ELD/GPS) already installed in commercial trucks. FourKites is partnered with a network of more than 25 Electronic Logging Device (ELD/GPS) manufacturers in North America and is constantly expanding its ecosystem based on customer demands.