Digital logistics platform Zuum Transportation announced a second round of seed funding at $8.58 million as the industry rush to automate and streamline freight processes continues unabated.
Founded in 2016, Zuum got its start providing a digital marketplace, followed by a “broker-in-a-box” solution that allows freight intermediaries to automate and scale. That product ultimately evolved into a more comprehensive platform that includes a shipper transportation management system (TMS), broker software, carrier TMS and driver app.
The company’s executive team has deep roots in logistics (brokerage, carrier and shipping) as well as technology, co-founder and COO Matt Tabatabai told FreightWaves, and that combination has informed Zuum’s collaborative approach to the business.
CEO and co-founder Mustafa Azizi has worked in the freight industry for more than 15 years, and Zuum’s former chairman owned two trucking companies that helped seed the startup.
Many of the new logistics technology entrants originate in Silicon Valley, Tabatabai said, and don’t necessarily understand the complexity or the relationship-based nature of moving freight.
Zuum, he said, is “built from the cloth of the industry.”
A case in point is the company’s broker-in-a-box solution, which is designed to help brokers who feel threatened by technology — by allowing them to automate their own businesses.
Over the past few years Zuum has added seven products to its platform, enabling freight matching, automated bidding, dispatch, track and trace, workflow automation, digital document management, accounting and predictive reports and analytics.
The company claims 235 customers, including several Fortune 500 companies, and 20,000 carriers on its network, as well as strategic partnerships with investors and other organizations.
Zuum’s latest fundraising round, announced on Wednesday, included participation from logistics companies such as Estes Express Lines, BNSF Logistics and Estes Forwarding, as well as SAIC Ventures and Holman Growth Ventures.
“Partnering up and collaborating is our business model,” Tabatabai said. “We want to unite and defragment.”
Zuum will invest the money in sales and marketing while also innovating on the technology side, Tabatabai said.