Freterium, A Startup Bringing Technology To Freight Operations, Raises $4 Million In Seed Funding

Technology has its way of making everything easier, faster and more convenient, that’s not new news. The freight industry is mostly characterized by “antediluvian” methods of management even with how much technology has advanced. Although these systems are electronic, they are largely inefficient and can be greatly improved upon.

Freterium, a startup looking to revolutionize the freight industry using technology, has raised $4 million in seed funding. The funding round was led by Partech and saw participation from Outlierz Ventures, Swiss Founders Fund, Flexport, Y Combinator, CDG Invest, and a few angel investors.

Freterium’s focus is on the MENA region characterized by difficulties in its freight industry. While there are already startups dealing with the many problems (such as transportation, insurance, marketplaces, etc) this region’s freight industry has, there are little or no startups providing SaaS solutions that is highly needed in the industry.

Freterium which was launched in 2020 aims to solve the backend challenges of the freight industry in this region. It offers a SaaS solution that manages the flow of shipments as well as other aspects of business such as sales, finance and accounting, customer service and data from multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Explaining the service provided by the startup, CEO Mehdi Cherif Alami said that “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. And our main product is transport management software for shippers that 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 software, called Transport Management Software, manages everything – from the port to the factory, then products from the factory to the warehouses, B2B customers and eventually end customers.  It helps with the execution and monitoring by sharing the shipment information with parties involved in the transaction. And after the package has been delivered, retailers can control invoices from the delivery providers, analyze the performance and quality of service, and get insights on inefficiencies within their organization.

The startup has more than 20 enterprise customers currently, and while it’s growing at a 35 percent rate month-over-month, it has 3,000 users using its software.

The platform says its platform is easy and affordable to use, and that merchants can install Freterium in less than a week without upfront costs. The CEO says after installing its product, enterprise customers pay “as little as a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars a month”.

Speaking on the funding, Cyril Collon from lead investor Partech said that “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. 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”.

The acquired funds will be used to hire more talent, market its software, invest i9n research and development as well as expand across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the startup’s CEO said.

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