Logixboard, a white-label platform for freight forwarders, has announced it has closed a $13 million Series A investment led by Redpoint Ventures, including continued investment from Social Leverage, F-Prime Capital Partners and Founders Co-op. The company has raised a total of $18.8 million since 2016.
Logixboard’s platform enables freight forwarders to create a customized digital experience for their customers, creating a transparent environment that mirrors shipment tracking platforms like Amazon.
In an interview with FreightWaves, Julian Alvarez, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Logixboard, described the company’s innovative platform, its Series A investment and what he hopes to achieve with those funds.
This question-and-answer interview was edited for clarity and length.
FREIGHTWAVES: Why are freight forwarders turning to Logixboard to help with optimizing the customer experience?
ALVAREZ: “Freight forwarding companies are looking to change their end-user experience, but they have these internal systems really embedded into their business operations. We build integrations to those back-end systems and we become a front-end layer that digitizes the end-user experience. Our product is primarily used by the freight forwarder’s customer. They’re logging into the application for status updates, pulling documents and getting that digital experience of understanding and managing their supply chains.
“We deliver value by helping companies increase revenue, substantially. A lot of our customers start winning new revenue as we are implementing and going live with them. Freight forwarding companies can now go out and bid on bigger accounts that are requesting a digital experience and much better technology for their RFP processes. We have seen many of our customers bring in millions of dollars in new revenue in their first months of going live.
“Second, we sometimes have freight forwarding companies that reach out to us as more of a defensive mechanism. They’ll tell us, ‘One of my biggest customers is threatening to leave if I don’t update to a digital experience.’ We’re able to solve for that because we can implement it so quickly, usually within two to four weeks. If you wanted to build this, it would take 24 months and millions of dollars, so it’s a really good win for them.
“I’ve seen this shift in the market with people understanding that technology can actually deliver tangible ROI. So sometimes it’s a defensive mechanism around wanting to reduce customer churn, and we definitely help there, but we try to push freight forwarders to avoid that from ever happening.”
FREIGHTWAVES: Why would freight forwarders not build these tools themselves?
ALVAREZ: “I tell people all the time, ‘Listen, you have the budget to be able to build this, you can always hire a software engineering team, but one of the things that you don’t realize is building a product is just the beginning.’ They have to maintain the product. The thing that becomes really critical is products and technology go stale really quickly.
“It’s really about continuous innovation. A lot of companies don’t take that into consideration and what we talk about with a lot of our customers is,‘You’re going to be partners in our process and in our development. You’re going to have deep input into our product road map.’
“Part of Logixboard’s role is to continue to innovate and continuously keep our customers at the forefront of customer-facing technology. We get super excited and motivated about that.”
FREIGHTWAVES: Do you think these customer-focused digital experiences are becoming necessities within supply chains?
ALVAREZ: “These applications are really becoming table stakes. People and consumers believe the software we’re getting at home is the software that we should see in the office.
“People expect much simpler processes and much simpler tools. That’s really where we come in, and we spend our resources and our time thinking about how we make the end-user experience for shippers globally as seamless and as intuitive as possible.
“We have customers in 10 different countries now and we’re thinking about what we can do to make shipping freight easy and working with freight forwarding companies really simple.”
FREIGHTWAVES: What are you looking to do with these new funds?
ALVAREZ: “There’s a couple of things that we really want to do. Ultimately, we want to invest into products and into our customers’ needs. One of the things that we’re going to be investing into is integrations into other back-end systems. We consistently have freight forwarding companies that use other back-end systems reaching out to us, wanting to work with us, and we want to make sure that we can service those customers.
“The second component is becoming a one-stop shop for the end-user experience. That means investing into new product functionalities, online quotes, online bookings and order management. With those, we can be that one central solution for our customers and for their customers. Right now we have 24 people at Logixboard and are looking to double that by the end of the year so we can continue to build products and deliver value to them.”