Freight-Forwarder Beacon Now Counts Amazon’s Bezos As Investor

Sennder Raises $70M For Digital Freight Tech

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has invested in U.K.-based Beacon, a digital freight forwarder, according to Reuters.

Bezos was one of a few investors who contributed to the $15 million funding round from Beacon, the company announced on Sunday (May 31).

The venture capital firm 8VC was also among the investors.

Beacon works to provide real-time data on cargo delivery and marketplace views of shipping costs and prices around the world. The logistics services provided by Beacon encompass air, sea and land freight globally, Reuters reported. The funds raised will go towards new hires, technology and market expansions.

CEO Fraser Robinson, formerly of Uber, said the company was working to capitalize on the current climate, in which digital shopping and business are in vogue.

“With digitalization accelerating globally as a result of COVID-19, we believe the future of the traditional freight forwarder is more precarious than ever,” he said, according to Reuters.

The company was formed in 2018 by Fraser and another former Uber executive, and has been backed by Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt also supported Beacon.

Amazon has not been thinking small during the pandemic, as an announcement at the beginning of May attested, when Bezos pledged to spend the company’s entire $4 billion quarter revenue on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Bezos said the money would go towards a plethora of things like PPE, upgraded cleanings for warehouses and factories, more social distancing measures for processing paths and better wages.

There would also be “hundreds of millions” towards developing an in-house virus testing system. The company has hired a team of researchers, engineers and other specialists to specifically work on a custom lab and a new framework for the company that will build in incremental testing.

The company said it would work on testing its own people first, especially those on the front lines, but would look at expanding capabilities for everyone, too.