Chicago startup Newtrul announced On Monday, SignalFire and Flex Capital raised $5.3 million in capital.

Officials for the digital freight matching provider said the fundraising will support its goal of improving the company’s customer relationship management process and the customization features of its platform.

“We’re going to make a significant investment in the software that shippers and truckers have been using to find each other and that will help our marketplace,” Newtrul CEO and co-founder Ed Stockman told FreightWaves. “The marketplace is where transactions happen — there’s a lot of free software that we can provide to both parties to make their lives easier, to make communication easier, and those are the tools we’re going to double down on.”

Founded in 2018, Newtrul is a digital freight matching platform that integrates with freight brokers to exchange available freight with carriers digitally in real-time. Newtrul aims to reduce the time and resources required for two parties to complete a transaction.

Newtrul’s carrier platform allows trucking companies to log into the platform’s user interface to search for deliveries among multiple customers for each truck. The platform is free for operators.

“It’s 100% free for truckers. We do not charge operators. It’s free to come in, register and start trying to find additional cargo deliveries,” Stockman said.

Newtrul does not charge integration fees, publishing fees or monthly subscription fees. A transaction fee is charged when booking cargo. Brokers and shippers pre-select the carriers they want to make their shipments available to, and the rest of the process is automated.

Newtrul can be described as the “Expedia” of cargo booking, helping to connect the fragmented parts of the logistics industry, the company said.

“We know that people have been discussing the problem of driver shortage for a long time. We believe that there is not necessarily a shortage of drivers, so much as a problem of using trucks,” Stockman said. “One of the biggest components or variables of this problem is the lack of integration and communication in the logistics space.”

Stockman said not only is the industry becoming more fragmented with new freight brokers, shippers and truckers popping up every day, but there is also a fragmentation of the system.

“There are very old legacy technologies that don’t integrate — they’re based on traditional servers, not cloud solutions — so integrating and connecting these systems is very difficult,” Stockman said. “We are well aware of the challenges of digitizing transactions and the amount of time, waste and effort involved in finding a truck. We believe the wider industry needs this kind of connectivity, not just the more sophisticated freight brokers.”

Newtrul has around 10,000 active carrier users on its platform and currently works with approximately 75 customers, according to a press release.

The latest funding brings Newtrul’s total capital to $7.55 million. In February 2021, Newtrul announced a $2.25 million capital increase led by Autotech Ventures.

“Brokers pay astronomical premiums to manually arrange capacity over the phone, often spending more than half their margin,” Chris Farmer, CEO and Founder SignalFire, the statement said. “Newtrul modernizes this outdated practice with an integrated aggregation platform that saves you money and time matching loads with quality carriers.”

Along with SignalFire and Flex Capital, the latest fundraiser included Bessemer Venture Partners, Crowley, John Larkin, Brad Hollister and Oren Zaslansky, CEO of Flock Freight.

Stockman said raising capital this time around was a little more difficult.

“I would say things are getting tougher and the bar is definitely getting higher,” he said. “There’s still a lot of money out there for good companies that have strong support and traction.”

Financing details Nutrul
Funding amount 5.3 million dollars
Leading investors SignalFire and Flex Capital
Secondary investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Crowley, John Larkin, Brad Hollister and Oren Zaslansky.
Goal for the round Refine the company’s customer relationship management process and the onboarding features of its platform.
Total raised capital $7.55 million
Newtrul capital increase.

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