Data and analytics startup FreightWaves now in high 10 in enterprise capital raised in Tennessee

FreightWaves, the Chattanooga-based freight knowledge and analytics startup, has secured one other $37 million in funding since April, vaulting it into the highest 10 in enterprise capital raised in Tennessee.

Craig Fuller, FreightWaves founder and CEO, mentioned the brand new funding put FreightWaves’ whole at about $76 million, with the most recent infusion serving to to gas the corporate’s development initiatives.

Fuller mentioned the concentrate on logistics amid the coronavirus outbreak has helped the outlook for FreightWaves, which started industrial operations in 2017.

“Logistics and supply chain are hot topics now,” he mentioned. “Everyone now is thinking about those things. There’s so much concern about getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and they need real-time data.”

Fuller mentioned if well being care corporations are faraway from the listing of most enterprise capital raised in Tennessee, FreightWaves would rank No. 2 within the state’s historical past. Franklin-based know-how firm Digital Reasoning would high that listing, he mentioned.

Some $30 million of the brand new capital got here from Los Angeles-based Kayne Partners Fund, mentioned Fuller, whose firm employs about 130 individuals. The different $7 million funding got here from present buyers, he mentioned.

The firm CEO mentioned Kayne’s funding is a minority and non-control stake within the firm. Fuller, FreightWaves President George Abernathy and Chief Financial Officer Spencer Piland will proceed to steer the enterprise by way of its subsequent development stage, he mentioned.

Nishita Cummings, managing companion of Kayne Partners Fund, will be a part of the FreightWaves board.

Cummings mentioned that FreightWaves’ SONAR SaaS platform, which gives knowledge, intelligence and evaluation of the freight market to corporations, has begun to redefine how selections are made within the logistics area.

She mentioned that Kayne appears to be like ahead to “supporting the team in expanding a product suite that customers throughout the freight landscape increasingly rely on to successfully manage their daily operations.”

Sybil Topel, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s vice chairman of selling and communications, mentioned Freight Waves continues to create high-tech jobs and show the enterprise case for selecting Chattanooga.

“Craig Fuller likes to call Chattanooga ‘the Silicon Valley of freight’ and this tremendous capital investment in the media sector of freight and logistics is proof positive that we are the best location for future investment,” she mentioned.

Fuller mentioned FreightWaves has added about 10 to 15 individuals lately. Before the pandemic hit earlier this 12 months, the corporate had trimmed its workers by simply over 20 staff within the prior three months, he mentioned.

Fuller mentioned FreightWaves’ SONAR dashboard and its media enterprise have every grown greater than 250% within the first half of 2020 over the identical interval final 12 months. The firm’s media choices embody on-line, video and podcast information and content material for the worldwide freight and logistics markets.

“Our media business has been a real bright spot,” the CEO mentioned, including that it is the measurement of a small cable community with 25,000 day by day customers.

Fuller mentioned FreightWaves pivoted the corporate earlier this 12 months from rising as quick as attainable to optimizing the enterprise for profitability. He mentioned FreightWaves needs to “turn the business from raising capital to generating capital.”

One initiative that is present process reevaluation is the launch final 12 months of a freight futures market, Fuller mentioned.

“We haven’t seen the uptake we’d hoped,” he mentioned. “We’re in the process of evaluating where we go with that.”

Overall, Fuller mentioned, FreightWaves grew its top-line revenues by 50% within the first a part of 2020 over the prior 12 months regardless of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, this 12 months’s revenues did not embody two FreightWaves LIVE occasions that occurred in 2019, he mentioned.

While its LIVE occasion was cancelled in May, FreightWaves had constructed a streaming TV community that carried the content material and expertise just about, Fuller mentioned.

“At our Atlanta event, we had expected to host more than 2,000 industry guests, but with the virtual offering of FreightWaves @HOME, we served more than 90,000 streaming participants over the three-day experience,” he mentioned.

Fuller mentioned FreightWaves did not pursue any federal Paycheck Protection Program cash. Instead, it raised funds from from present buyers corresponding to 8VC, Prologis Ventures, Fontinalis, Hearst, Revolution, Ascend VC, Pritzker Venture Growth Capital and Fuller himself.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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