Serial entrepreneurs Andrew and Michael Leto, who started GlobalTranz Enterprises and 10-4 Systems, both of which were sold earlier this year, are launching a new enterprise. It is a software platform called Emerge that allows shippers and carriers to book loads, track shipments and source new capacity in what is being described as a private freight marketplace.
In our fifth episode of RoadSigns, we ask: How far can we go in terms of automating freight transactions? Hear a snippet above from Ziad Ismail, chief product officer at digital freight matching firm Convoy, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.
Launched in September 2017, Emerge has received $20 million in seed funding from a group of investors led by venture capital investment firm Greycroft Partners, according to a statement released by Scottsdale, Ariz-based Emerge on Nov. 15.
“Technology advancements are catalyzing all sorts of changes to how the trucking industry moves freight,” said Will Szczerbiak, a principal at Greycroft in New York. “We have looked at a bunch of other vendors, and Emerge stands in a class of its own when it comes to creating a more delightful and efficient freight-booking experience for shippers, carriers and brokers alike.”
CEO Michael Leto said the experience of building a large freight brokerage business at GlobalTranz “has given us the insight to eliminate the real inefficiencies our customers experience.”
Emerge is a cloud-based online platform that gives users the ability to manage quotes and load tenders, carrier management, shipment tracking and data analytics, billing and networking with new partners.
“Ultimately,” Leto said, “the platform reduces costs and positively impacts the bottom line.”
On its website, Emerge said it provides free transportation management software to firms that agree to participate in the marketplace and help develop its service offerings. The company also states that it plans to generate profits by allowing approved carriers to advertise rates on specified lanes.
Andrew Leto formed GlobalTranz in 2003 after a stint in the U.S. Navy and soon was joined by his brother, Michael. Together, they built a company that made extensive use of software to help shippers manage their freight. GlobalTranz was acquired by The Jordan Co. in August for a reported $400 million.
In 2012, the Letos spun off a shipment-tracking service they had developed at GlobalTranz. That became 10-4 Systems, which was acquired by Trimble Inc. in September.
“Even as GlobalTranz grew into a massive success, I always knew there was a need for a private freight marketplace,” Andrew Leto said in the statement from Emerge. “And we have the best team in the industry growing this platform.”
Besides Andrew and Michael, Jack Holmes, a retired CEO of UPS Freight, is vice chairman and Grant Crawford, a former FedEx Corp. executive, is chief commercial officer.
“I’ve known and respected the Letos for years,” Holmes said in the statement from Emerge. “Their knack for understanding what customers need and their ability to address it with user-friendly technology was a huge draw for me to come aboard.”
Crawford said that Emerge “helps turn over every rock to find capacity” and will help a “traditionally archaic” industry become more efficient.