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Kayne Partners Backs FreightWaves With $30M For Growth

FreightWaves, a daily media streaming network and data provider for the global freight market, said Friday it has raised $37 million in two rounds of funding.

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The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based startup’s SaaS platform, SONAR, provides data, intelligence and analysis to transportation and logistics providers, shippers, financial traders and analysts, so they can make data-driven decisions on exposure and pricing, according to the company.

Kayne Partners Fund led one of the rounds, providing $30 million in capital for growth opportunities, while the other $7 million came from an undisclosed investor back in April, the company said in a written statement. The two new rounds give FreightWaves a total of $75 million in capital raised since its inception in 2016. FreightWaves’ last venture raise was in February 2019, a $21 million Series B round led by 8VC, according to Crunchbase data.

FreightWaves said Kayne Partners’ investment was a minority, noncontrol investment and that the fund’s managing partner and co-head of growth equity, Nishita Cummings, will join its board.

“FreightWaves’ SONAR SaaS solution has already begun to redefine how decisions are made in the logistics space, and we look forward to supporting the team in expanding a product suite that customers throughout the freight landscape increasingly rely on to successfully manage daily operations,” Cummings said in a written statement.

The company, which provides streaming media and data to the $9.6 trillion global logistics industry, plans to use the additional capital on product development and potential strategic acquisitions. This year, it pivoted from a rapid scale model to sustainable growth, Craig Fuller, FreightWaves’ CEO said in a written statement.

“Even though COVID-19 had an impact on some of our revenue streams, we are accelerating past our profitability targets and are reinforcing strong fundamentals in our business model,” Fuller said. “Community and events like FreightWaves LIVE were more than 50 percent of our revenue in the first half of 2019. With COVID-19 forcing us to cancel FreightWaves LIVE in May, we weren’t able to host our bi-annual event and experienced a significant impact to top-line revenues.

“The good news for us is that we had been building an over-the-top streaming TV network that was able to carry the FreightWaves LIVE content and experience into a virtual format,” he added.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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