Convargo grabs $19 million to improve road freight

Romain Dillet
French startup Convargo is a marketplace for shippers and carriers so that you can find a truck and send goods across France more efficiently.

French startup Convargo is a marketplace for shippers and carriers so that you can find a truck and send goods across France more efficiently. The startup just raised a $19 million Series A round led by Inventure Partners and Earlybird.

Tony Fadell, Patrick Sayer and Oskar Hartmann, Roger Crook, Clément Benoit and Romain Afflelou are also participating in today’s round.

As always, marketplace startups work particularly well for fragmented industries. And this one is perfect as many carriers own less than 10 trucks, pricing varies greatly and there has been little innovation for the past decades.

“Today, we have more than 2,000 partners, representing more than 120,000 trucks,” co-founder and CEO Maxime Legardez told me. “Some of our trucking companies only have 2 or 3 trucks while others are national or European transportation companies.”

And the company is still quite young as it has been around for just a year. Convargo plans to expand to other European countries in 2018. 3,000 companies now use Convargo, including some big clients, such as Auchan.fr or Procter & Gamble.

While there are a handful of startups trying to solve the same issue, such as FretLink, Convargo mostly wants to convert companies that use old school methods to find a truck. Many companies still rely on phone calls, emails or even faxes to ask for a shipment. And outdated marketplaces like uShip don’t cut it anymore.

With Convargo, you can create an account in a few minutes and start searching. It then becomes your one-stop shop for all your road freight needs. You don’t need anything else to find a truck.

The service also gives you a price estimate based on the quantity of goods and the route. Convargo can adjust pricing depending on supply and demand. It’s going to be cheaper to send pallets from Paris to Lyon than from Vannes to Angers.

Finally, Convargo has worked on tracking so that you know the status of your goods at all times. The service automatically generates delivery forms for carrier companies too.

As for trucking companies, many companies can’t optimize their trucks as drivers often have to drive empty trucks to find the next client. A marketplace can solve this kind of issues by surfacing more potential clients.

Convargo is working on API integrations with existing IT systems in the freight industry, pricing algorithm optimizations and more tracking and planning services. This industry is going to be a land grab. Now let's see who is going to conquer the European continent first.