Freight forwarding and supply chain logistics firm Beacon has raised US$50mn in a series B funding round, with previous investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos among the participants.
Beacon says the fresh funding – which builds on a US$15mn round last year – follows a twelvefold increase in revenue over the past 12 months, driven by “surging customer demand”.
The series B round is led by Northstar and includes several previous investors as participants, including Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and US-based venture capital firms 8VC and Expa, as well as Bezos.
Founded in 2018, London-headquartered Beacon provides a digital platform helping businesses optimise supply chains. It operates across sea, air and road freight, and provides visibility on payments and supply chain finance arrangements, as well as insurance, customs clearance and relevant data.
The fresh funding will be used to grow Beacon’s team further, after it expanded from 24 to 180 people over the past year, the company says. It has also opened a Hong Kong office in order to facilitate expansion into Asia, and plans to continue moving into other markets.
Fraser Robinson, co-founder and chief executive, says the Covid-19 pandemic “has brought into the spotlight the importance of resilient, reliable, and transparent global supply chains, which has only served to reinforce the need for our technology and service”.
Virus containment measures, including national lockdowns and travel restrictions, had a devastating impact on trade volumes in the first half of 2020. Since then, companies around the world have sought to improve the resilience and predictability of their supply chains.
However, Beacon points out that soaring freight rates and changes in customer demand “have placed extraordinary pressure on businesses and their supply chains”.
“One of the most effective ways for businesses to compete in this new environment is with full, digital visibility of their supply chains and logistics operations,” the company says.
Amir Karimpour, managing partner at Northstar, says: “At Northstar, we back technologies that have the potential to alter the trajectory of their respective industries, and Beacon’s game-changing platform has the potential to transform supply chains globally.”