News - 17.11.2020

Forto, the leading European digital freight forwarder, raises over $50m to expand internationally

Forto, the leading European digital freight forwarder, raises over $50 million to expand internationally and accelerate the development of its supply chain management solutions 

  • The Berlin-based start-up has now raised over $120 million since inception and has become a Top 20 Freight Forwarder from Asia to Europe in just 4 years
  • Inven Capital and Iris Capital, two leading growth venture firms, have led this round with strong participation from existing investors
  • Forto will use the funds to expand its European and Asian footprint and continue shaping a stronger and more impactful transform backbone for global trade

Forto, the leading digital freight forwarder headquartered in Berlin raises $50 million, taking its total investment to $73 million in 2020 and $126 million since inception in 2016. The round was led by Inven Capital, a European growth fund with recent successful portfolio exits to Microsoft and Shell. Additional investment came from Iris Capital, a venture and late stage firm specialized in digital economy, with strong participation from current investors, including Rider Global, Northzone, Cherry Ventures and the Italian venture fund H14. Also Maersk, the largest ocean carrier in the world, has significantly doubled down on their prior investment, underlining Forto's momentum in creating a new animal in the transport space.

“We strongly believe in Forto’s vision to simplify international carriage of goods and make shipping containers as simple as sending an email. Not only do customers get incredible insights into their supply chain, they can also make smarter, sustainable decisions based on transparent emissions data related to the transport option of their choice,” observes Petr Míkovec, CEO at Inven Capital.

Itziar Latasa Estevez, Partner at Iris Capital, adds: “We are convinced that Forto will transform freight forwarding globally by introducing automation to efficiently orchestrate all parties involved in a shipment. Today, Forto is already the largest digital forwarder for Asia-Europe trade. We are proud to join this new ambitious round that will support Forto’s international growth.”  "Forto has proven to be essential in a sector which is under increasing pressure amidst a global pandemic and is dominated by fragmented, non-digital incumbents. The Forto team is building the standard for how logistics will be done in the 21st century and we are proud to have been backing them from their early days" adds Michiel Kotting, Partner at Northzone.

Forto will be using the new funding to accelerate the development of its ground-breaking supply chain management solutions by adding order management and value-added services. Appointed in the Top 20 Freight Forwarder from Asia to Europe in just under 4 years, Forto will be further expanding its European and Asian operations following the recent opening of a Singapore office and the extension of its operational presence  5 offices in Asia, where its order book has tripled since late last year.

"In the last few quarters, we have significantly exceeded our growth plans and have increased our volumes by 300% year over year. And this despite challenging trading conditions, which have forced companies to face significant capacity constraints and rate volatility. By adopting Forto’s solutions our customers have been able to achieve an unparalleled degree of transparency and reliability in booking, communications, data exchange and document management across their supply chain. We are proud to make our contribution in ensuring that European firms can emerge from this current period of volatility in a stronger position to successfully trade globally," explains Co-Founder Michael Wax, who co-leads the firm alongside Co-Founder Erik Muttersbach and Dr. Michael Ardelt.

Forto’s supply chain management solutions are already being used by over 2,500 customers, including leading industrial manufacturer Viessmann, consumer goods giant Miele and eCommerce brand Home24. These customers benefit from receiving real-time data and excellent on-time delivery, while typically reducing their administrative supply chain costs by 30%. Benefits are not limited to efficiency and reliability, but also include a tangible path towards much greater sustainability through transparent emissions rating of possible transport options. Forto is eager to help make global trade faster, easier and sustainable.