Portcast, a Singapore-headquartered logistics technology startup, is looking at going international and doubling its team size after raising $3.2 million in its pre-Series A financing round.
The funding round was led by Newtown Partners (via the Imperial Venture Fund) with participation from Wavemaker Partners, TMV, and Innoport. Existing investors, including SGInnovate, also participated.
The logitech startup enables freight forwarders and manufacturers across the world to achieve real-time visibility, reduce operational costs and improve customer experience, thereby improving profit margins.
It caters to both shipping lines and cargo lines, covering 90% of the world trade volume that travels via ocean and 35% that travels via air.
Portcast said it uses proprietary machine learning algorithms and real-time external market data (such as economic indices, weather, geospatial data) to predict how much cargo will be shipped, when it will arrive, and deliver actionable insights.
Since its launch in 2018, the startup said it has already amassed an impressive list of freight forwarding and manufacturing customers across the world and predicts over 300,000 shipment events daily.
Global supply chains are under extreme pressure with record delays, unprecedented congestion at ports and constrained capacities. According to Portcast, this has led to ridiculously high transportation costs which are being transferred to the end consumer yet service reliability remains low.
“We believe that companies with predictive visibility on cargo movements have a significantly higher preparedness to downstream planning and customer service, and we have already seen the impact of this with reductions in overall port fees by 20 percent and manual work by 80 percent for our customers,” says Nidhi Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Portcast.
Portcast believes that logistics digitisation is at an inflection point. Gartner reports that 50 percent of product-centric supply chains will invest in real-time transportation visibility platforms by 2023.
Commenting on the investment, Newtown Partners managing partner Llew Claasen said Portcast has proven its technology not just in the long-haul routes, but also in multi-port voyages and emerging economies, which are harder to predict.
“We believe the technology has global replicability in automating logistics workflows and digitisation. This aligns with our vision of backing innovative logistics startups and creates synergies in the European and African trading routes,” Claasen said.