- Onward Delivery recently announced it has closed an oversubscribed $4.7 million seed funding round. These are the details.
Onward Delivery — a freight marketplace that connects retail stores to underutilized trucks already on the road — recently announced it has closed an oversubscribed $4.7 million seed funding round, led by Range Ventures and Matchstick Ventures and includes follow-on investments from Springtime Ventures and others.
This round also includes participation from angel investors including Andrew Leto (Founder & CEO of Emerge), Jett McCandless (Founder and CEO of Project44), Sean Henry (Founder & CEO of STORD), James Eberhard (Founder & CEO of Fluid Truck), Mark Joseph (Board Member at Rubicon), and Leo Polovets (General Partner at Susa Ventures), and several others.
Onward Delivery launched in 2020 after its founders experienced the inefficiencies in freight brokerage firsthand working in the industry. And on average, it takes nearly 35 days to ship a customer any large appliance or piece of furniture since many retail stores rely solely on a single delivery company in each market. The market fragmentation has resulted in underutilized box trucks, revealing a significant opportunity for Onward to automate final-mile delivery and expedite the time between order and delivery to the next day.
Onward’s platform enables shippers to place shipments to its load board where it is then instantly priced and smart-matched to a truck already headed in the same direction. And Onward’s platform streamlines a historically archaic industry by digitizing documents and processes along the final-mile journey, enabling truck drivers to complete more deliveries in less time. Onward’s auto-scheduling feature removes the burden of extensive communications between drivers, customers, and shippers with one click.
Backed by Techstars, Onward partners with 75 retail stores across 6 states and is actively looking to forge new partnerships with retailers and expand into more markets across the country. And some of Onward’s retail partners include Slumberland Furniture, Bassett Furniture, Woodley’s Fine Furniture, Element Home, and The Tile Shop. Today, Onward operates in Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Georgia, Kansas, and Missouri.
As Onward looks to the future, the company plans to expand its operations to Texas, California, Florida, and Wisconsin over the next year. And this funding will be allocated to hiring engineers to further build out Onward’s SaaS platform and strengthen the marketplace, with an eye on integrations to make placing shipments a one-click process. Plus Onward is focused on aggressively building out its sales team with the goal of entering a total of 15 markets by the end of 2022.
“With the ongoing driver shortage and supply chain issues, there is a dire need to automate and digitize final mile delivery. Our technology connects retailers to unused cargo space already on the road, making drivers more efficient. With the completion of our seed round, we are excited to have the support to build out our operations to fix one of the biggest crises of our time.”
— Grafton Elliott, CEO of Onward Delivery
“We believe Onward Delivery is well-positioned to innovate an industry that has been historically under invested in. At a moment when everyone is talking about the need to solve supply chain challenges, Matchstick is looking forward to watching Onward bring its final-mile delivery solution to more markets across the country.”
— Nathaniel Zola, Managing Member at Matchstick Ventures
“It is clear that solutions based in automation and digitization are needed to address the supply chain crisis. We are proud to be a lead investor of the seed round for an efficient and environmentally friendly approach to final-mile delivery and have great confidence in Grafton and the Onward team to execute on this significant opportunity.”
— Adam Burrows, Managing Director at Range Ventures