Freight Forwarder Flexport Receives $1 Billion Investment From SoftBank

Flexport's Petersen speaks with staff at the company's office in San Francisco, Calif. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

SoftBank Vision Fund, along with several partners, has invested $1 billion in Flexport Inc., a full-service air and ocean freight forwarder, according to Flexport’s blog.

The fund, a subsidiary of SoftBank, plans to invest $100 billion in startups.

Flexport doubled revenue to nearly $500 million in 2018, the San Francisco-based company said, while increasing its workforce to nearly 1,000 employees and expanding its geographic footprint to 11 offices and warehouses worldwide.

The company, founded in 2013, said it has 10,000 clients and suppliers in 200 nations.

Flexport says it uses cloud software and analytics with physical transit infrastructure. The company offers freight service via ocean, air, truck and rail; drayage and cartage; warehousing, customs and compliance; and financing and insurance.

Flexport already is the 11th-largest freight forwarder by ocean volume on the world’s largest shipping lane, the Transpacific Eastbound.

CEO Ryan Petersen recently told Bloomberg that in the next five years, the freight industry will be changed by consumers’ growing expectation of two-day delivery. The SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment will help Flexport grow large enough to handle its global business, Petersen told Bloomberg. — Transport Topics