It’s understood, most freight companies within Africa and the Middle East still use the traditional methods viewed as old-fashion which meant the use of spreadsheets, emails, and phone calls to manage their shipments. While the use of software platforms is lacking, as such, the mission of startup Freterium within the axis of MENA.
Noting that the so-called old-fashion which are electronic but manual makes their output very inefficient, the subject startup has reportedly pioneered various enterprise resource planning (ERP) to ensure this process is digitized, although, it will still require additional software platforms to complete multiple tasks.
But in an actual sense, stakeholders in this sphere – notably manufacturers and distributors to retailers coupled with logistics providers – require a single software designed to connect them with their entire shipping ecosystem, aimed at cutting cost and time.
Consequently, the subject startup based in Morocco is no other than but one of such offering this software and has successfully secured $4 million in seed to scale across the country and into the MENA regions.
The latest funding round was led by Partech, Y Combinator, CDG Invest, Flexport, Outlierz Ventures, Swiss Founders Fund, and also saw the participation of a couple of angel investors from the U.S., Asia, Europe, and the continent of Africa.
Although, Freterium isn’t the only company that is poised to address freight and logistics issues in the MENA, yet, each focuses on a unique area. Some are brokerage and marketplace platforms connecting shippers with trucks, like Trailer. While companies like Flextock and ShipBlu in the e-commerce fulfillment sector cater to last-mile and warehousing needs. However, SaaS solutions required to manage the flow of these shipments, collaborate internally with different departments within the company such as customer service, sales, finance, and accounting in addition to aggregate data from multiple ERP systems are limited.
This is what startup Freterium launched in 2020, and intends to build: a structured approach towards solving critical backend challenges of the freight industry.
“We’re building a logistics operating system to allow the shippers, our customers to manage all of their domestic shipments on a single interface. So we connect organizations, people, and technologies across the entire logistics value chain”, according to the CEO ‘Mehdi Cherif Alami’.
“And our main product is transport management software for shippers enables multi-enterprise collaboration. But also, very importantly, it’s platform-agnostic. So we are a neutral software that plays nice with everyone. We’re kind of the Switzerland of logistics, in that sense”.
The company’s CEO Alami and CPO ‘Omar EI Kouhene’ previously worked in consulting and logistics like PwP, McKinsey, OCP Group, and Strategy across Africa and the Middle East. While the company’s Transport Management Software allows companies in the freight industry to manage shipments from the port to the factory, then from the factory to the warehouse, B2B customers and ends with customers.
The subject company made clear it has amassed more than 20 enterprise customers, with more than 3,000 users utilizing its software. Meanwhile, incumbents are known to have high implementation costs and long installation periods that could span months, however, Freterium claims merchants can install its platform in under a week with no upfront costs. Upon installation, enterprise customers pay “as little as a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per month”, Alami said.
“We have been looking closely at the freight trucking market in Africa and the Middle East for the past five years, a market worth $250 billion. 85% of the volume is carried through established legacy partnerships between shippers and carriers and still run with manual, inefficient tools”, Partech general manager ‘Cyril Collon’ said about the investment.
“Freterium has built a holistic approach to solving the key challenges of the industry and we are excited to support them in their mission to empower manufacturers, retailers, and logistics teams across Africa”.
Freterium’s CEO said the fresh fund will be used to invest in the company’s R&D, hire more talent in order to double the current workforce within the next 12 months, market its software, and expand across Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
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