Trucksters, the Spanish relay-based freight transport operator, has closed a Series A financing round of €6.3 million led by Kibo Ventures, one of Spain’s leading Venture Capital funds. Other investors in this round include the German fund focused on supply chains, Amplifier, as well as Bonsai Partners, a reputed VC fund from Spain. They join previous investors Big Sur Ventures, Metavallon VC, The Valley VC and APX, the very-early-stage VC backed by Axel Springer and Porsche. Moreover, Sacha Michaud, co-founder of Glovo and a previous investor of the company, participates in this funding and joins the firm as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.
The capital raised in this round will support the firm’s international expansion and consolidate its three main European corridors, building its presence in Benelux, Germany, and Poland and offering a wider range of routes to their existing and future clients. The new funds will also help grow the current team and incorporate new talent.
In parallel to the fundraise, Trucksters has just announced the opening of a new technological hub in Galicia (Spain), where it expects to recruit over 40 professionals with a technology background over the next 5 years.
“It is a huge thrill to be making this leap forward as a company,” says Luis Bardají Izard, CEO and co-founder of Trucksters. “Kibo Ventures, together with our new and existing partners, bring incredible know-how and experience which will help immensely with our company’s vision: to make non-stop transport the standard in Europe, improving the lives of drivers and making the logistics ecosystem more sustainable in every way.”
Trucksters was born to address the needs of an industry in disruption. On one hand, end customers demanding faster and more reliable delivery times, putting stress on the entire supply chain and making time the key aspect to consider when choosing transport providers. Secondly, the impressive growth of e-commerce, further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the urgent need to optimise company logistics. Trucksters harnesses its relay model to make the most of these trends, achieving air transport times at land transport prices.
“We are delighted to be part of the Trucksters family and to support Luis and the team in their mission to reinvent long distance freight transport and become a reference in Europe” says Aquilino Peña, founder of Kibo Ventures. “Our goal is to help Trucksters grow to expand its innovative business model, which is a win-win for all of us: the drivers, our customers, their end customers, Trucksters and the environment.”
A growing start-up
With more than 30 employees, Trucksters is present in Madrid, the company’s headquarters, Valencia, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Greece. The team will be opening new offices in Galicia and Dortmund, Germany over the coming months as they aim to revolutionize road haulage in an efficient, sustainable, and thoughtful manner.
Trucksters’ unique system allows truck drivers to sleep more days at home, as they drive shorter sections of longer routes and exchange semi-trailers at relay points with trucks transporting goods in the opposite direction. Thanks to these relays, the drivers’ quality of life is improved, and the firm’s customers receive a faster and more cost-efficient transport service.
The routes are planned with an artificial intelligence-based algorithm that optimises the variables of delivery time, cost and overnight stays away from home. A mobile app is used to communicate directly to drivers in real-time and assists in all of the verification processes related to the transport of goods within the Trucksters network, allowing documentation to be uploaded and fellow drivers identified.
Trusted by over 500 companies
Trucksters’ unique transport proposition is already being used by more than 500 companies including Lesaffre and Damm, and e-commerce giants such as Grupo Seur, and has moved more than 2,000 full truck loads (FTLs) in the past 12 months alone, and is growing at double-digit monthly rates.
Trucksters’ long-term vision is ambitious: the start-up is currently working on a relay system which will act as a starting point to autonomous driving, where some parts of a journey will be done manually by drivers, and others automated. The firm also foresees the use of relays as a method for the electrification of long distances.
These solutions are crucial to the future of a sector which is seeing a severe shortage of drivers, partially explained by the poor quality of life some of them have. By giving drivers the possibility of sleeping home almost every night, Trucksters believe they will make an important, qualitative change to the sector.
The start-up also intends to become a pioneer in working with electric trucks, where relays will help circumvent the current limitations of truck autonomy.
Trucksters has already raised more than 2 million euros from professionals and prominent business angels in Spain including Mario Vicente, from the Undanet Group, Carlos Severino, partner at EY-Parthenon, and Telmo Pérez, director of Innovation at Acciona.