Ocean freight start-up secures $1.3m seed round

Newcastle firm Kontainers plans to capitalise on “trillion dollar” industry with online container shipping booking platform

Kontainers, an online booking platform for container shipping, has raised $1.3m in seed funding led by EC1 Capital with participation from Northstar Ventures and Partech Ventures.

Founded in 2014 by Graham Parker and Charles Lee, the Newcastle-based firm intends to bring the “trillion dollar ocean freight industry into the 21st century” by giving companies instant access to live shipping rates, online booking, customs clearance and real-time tracking.

Said to be the first of its kind in the UK, the platform is already being used by companies across the country including dairy farmers, exporters and brands such as Bosch and Saint Gobain.

The investment will support Kontainer’s upcoming launch in the US this month, and will help its plans to roll-out more products such as an imports module and a ‘less than container load’ module.

Kontainers’ Parker commented: “It’s ludicrous that today, while one can leverage software like Xero, Salesforce, Dropbox, AWS and Google Apps to run a business, trillions of dollars of trade still rely on decades old tech like phones and faxes.

“Our mission is to simplify global trade and our cutting-edge but intuitive platform does exactly that. If we get this right, not only will global trade get simpler, but there will be more if it.”

Julian Carter, founding partner of EC1 Capital, continued:

“Kontainers is going after an enormous, global scale opportunity yet untouched by technology in any meaningful way. This seed round will help build the core team, execute its product roadmap and test new markets.”

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