CHICAGO, April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Torch, the first short-haul freight network, announced the close of a $3.5 million seed round led by Maersk Growth, with participation from Schematic Ventures, Bluestein Ventures, Anorak Ventures, Supply Chain Ventures, and SaaS Ventures. Additionally, Torch announced Mike Bosch and Robert Baggio have joined its executive team.
"The pandemic has accelerated the already growing demand for reliable short-haul capacity, and stretched the boundaries of supply chain networks," said Torch CEO and Founder Abtin Hamidi. "Over the past decade, the average length of haul has decreased by more than 30% due to e-commerce and the dynamics of retail, CPG and other shippers. The majority of the truckload transactions are now considered short-haul, yet there are very few reliable, consistent options for shippers that are founded in digital principles."
"Rising consumer expectations require faster deliveries and inventory positioned closer to consumers. This complicated short-haul freight is now too important to trust to long-haul brokers," Hamidi said. "Torch is the first network to launch with both a commitment to the short-haul category, and technology purpose-built for the short-haul industry."
Currently servicing blue-chip clients across the country, Torch's technology creates an experience tailored to the specific needs of shipments under 550 miles. "Torch has quickly become the platform of choice for several shippers and carriers. Torch provides shippers with more efficient load placement, higher service levels, and better pricing with trusted carriers, and offers carriers a consistent, high volume of loads from quality shippers to maximize asset utilization within their region," said Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Partner at Maersk Growth.
First launched in 2019, the market for Torch's short-haul focus has continued to grow, and this investment round will enable Torch to expand its network and analytics capabilities, as well as customer service efforts.
"While most supply chain networks have evolved to meet the demands of modern e-commerce, shippers still struggle to find consistent and efficient carriers for short-haul loads," added Julian Counihan, Partner at Schematic Ventures. "Traditional brokers have had difficulty with the category given the idiosyncrasies and historical infrequency of short-haul transportation. Abtin saw an opportunity to fill the gap between shipper needs and broker ability. We're excited to lead Torch's seed round and partner with a great entrepreneur building the future of short-haul technology."
"We're honored to work alongside the Torch team in our own backyard of Chicago – a leading hub for supply chain innovation – as they continue to grow and develop their unique and effective network. It's a solution that's needed now more than ever," said Andrew Bluestein, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Bluestein Ventures.
Alongside the raise, Torch has also made two key additions to its executive team. Mike Bosch joined as VP of Engineering, earning accolades and leading numerous teams at Google, Uptake, ServiceNow and others. Mike, a 20-year veteran engineer and expert in anomaly detection, will help Torch lead its network and analytics development. Robert Baggio joined as VP of Operations and Strategy, most recently serving as an investment analyst and banker at Cantor Fitzgerald, Rotation Capital, and GLC Advisors.
For more information please visit www.torch3pl.com
About Maersk Growth
Maersk Growth is the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller - Maersk. Maersk Growth invests in and accelerates growth businesses to shape the future of trade, drive transformation in logistics and supply chain, and to support Maersk's corporate vision of delivering seamless, end-to-end logistics services.
For more information please visit www.maersk.com/growth.
About Schematic Ventures
Schematic Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund focused on technology that makes and moves the world. The fund is based in San Francisco and was founded by investors with backgrounds in supply chain, automation and e-commerce technology.
For more information please visit www.schematicventures.com.
About Bluestein Ventures
Bluestein is a family-based venture capital fund based in Chicago that invests in the future of food. Bluestein's investments span the entire value chain – both B2C and B2B – with a focus on four areas: high-growth consumer brands, proprietary foodtech, next-gen commerce, and value-add digital technology.
For more information please visit www.bluesteinventures.com.