European on-demand trucking platform Ontruck has raised an investment of €17 million, in a round led by OGCI Climate Investments (OGCICI), and saw participation from existing investors Cathay Innovation, Atomico, Idinvest Partners and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, with Endeavor Catalyst joining as a new investor.
Iñigo Juantegui, the CEO and co-founder of Ontruck, explained that Ontruck’s association with OGCI was a reaffirmation of the commitment both firms have to make road transportation greener and more efficient – especially in the face of the challenging circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
“By combining business intelligence and machine learning tools, Ontruck’s platform can optimize the routes taken by its network of drivers to reduce downtime, and the volume of empty miles traveled. This not only eliminates the unnecessary consumption of fuel but also reduces the emission of polluting gases from entering the atmosphere,” said Juantegui.
Ontruck’s technology maximizes efficiency across the road freight marketplace by identifying various geolocation and behavioral patterns of drivers. Based on insights gained from the data, Ontruck can offer tailored routes that suit driver preferences, reducing the distance between the freight’s origin and destination.
“The platform’s unique routing algorithm, capable of planning routes based on multiple variables, also makes it possible to link new loads to existing routes. This optimizes the capacity of Ontruck’s vehicle network to create a more dynamic and agile fleet,” explained Juantegui. “The more iterations that the platform does with each route, the better it becomes at offering the best suggestion for each of the network’s carriers.”
This dynamic route optimization helps Ontruck to significantly reduce deadhead miles, which results in lower CO2 emissions across every journey. To date, Ontruck has had commendable results in its carbon footprint downsizing efforts, managing to reduce the percentage of miles driven by vehicles running without freight from 44% – the industry average – to 19%. Ontruck estimates that this prevented 1.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.
Juantegui explained that Ontruck plans to continue growing its business in markets it has a presence in currently, while also developing its technology. The company invests close to 40% of its resources into technological development. Juantegui pointed out that it is a constant effort to improve Ontruck’s main products, by optimizing the process of getting a load, finding a truck, assigning it, and tracking it to its completion.
“There are an immense amount of variables and steps at play in these processes. The supply chain is a highly complex infrastructure, and only through technology will we be able to have a big impact in it,” said Juantegui. “We are not currently thinking of opening new markets, especially given the current uncertainty. We will, however, be re-evaluating these decisions in the coming months after we see how the market evolves.”
Ontruck operates in France, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K.. The company has some of Europe’s largest brands as clients, including Auchan, Pepsico, P&G, Codorniu, GBFoods, CHEP and Decathlon.