INTERNATIONAL shipping giant A.P. Moller – Maersk and financiers Global Founders Capital have stumped up $2.8m in “seed funding” with Sydney logistics start-up Loadsmile.

The result is a rebrand for Loadsmile which will henceforth be renamed Ofload.

Maersk is investing via its venture arm Maersk Growth, with it and Global Founders joining pre-seed investor Flash Ventures in the Ofload capitalisation effort.

Ofload’s seed funding happened six months after launching its operations focused on tackling waste and empowering small to medium-sized players in the road freight industry.

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The funding round occurred between March and July this year.

Ofload’s digital platform live matches shippers with “vetted and reliable carriers”, reducing empty miles and idle time for small to medium businesses in order to address wastage in the road freight sector.

Since launching in late February 2020, the start-up has reported seeing “good traction”, particularly among the small and mid-sized carriers.

Ofload co-founder and CEO Geoffroy Henry said “fundamental issues such as incredible amounts of waste, increased overheads and a legacy power imbalance are holding back Australia’s road freight and shipping industries”.

“Ultimately, transport companies want to reduce these inefficiencies and create a more sustainable industry, and we are making this possible, no matter their size,” Mr Henry said.

“We are thrilled to receive support from investors of this calibre as early as our seed round, and are excited by the expertise and potential synergies they bring to the table.

“This will allow us to empower the road freight and shipping industries to reach their full growth potential during such catalytic times.”

Maersk Growth venture partner Jeppe Høier said they were “pleased to invest into an ambitious team targeting the inefficiencies in the trucking industry with a solution that fits Maersk’s container logistics integrator strategy”.

“We have monitored this space for years and invested in teams around the world succeeding in bringing shippers and carriers into the digital world,” Mr Høier said.

“All supply chain stakeholders will benefit from Ofload’s technology, not least shippers looking to reduce their carbon footprint, as empty truck moves will be optimised.”

Global Founders Capital partner Tito Costa said they were “excited to partner with the Ofload team and accelerate their effort to eliminate the remaining inefficiencies in the trucking industry to the advantage of both shippers and truck drivers”.

Flash Ventures investor Johann Nordhus Westarp said he was “thrilled by the strong execution and big vision we see from Geoffroy and Thomas”.

“The team is uniquely positioned to build the APAC freight forwarding market leader,” he said.

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