September 26, 2022
Nowports streamlines LatAm's shipping to deliver a $1.1B valuation

For the unacquainted, digital freight forwarders use digital tools that improve communication and efficiencies in the shipping process, among other things, to help shipments get where they need to go in a timely manner. With so much attention on supply chain issues since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of an efficient supply chain is more apparent than ever. To quote my colleague Anna Heim, digitizing freight forwarding is a global challenge because the sector still lacks transparency and efficiency. Latin American startups have a steeper hill to climb, but this also drives them to innovate and help each other in interesting ways.

Nowport’s raise — led by SoftBank Latin America Fund — comes just six months after the Monterey, Mexico-based startup announced it had secured $60 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global Management. It also marks Nowports’ third equity raise in less than one year’s time, and brings its total funding to over $240 million since its 2018 inception. The company had also raised $16 million in a Series A funding round that TechCrunch reported on in July of 2021.

The startup’s valuation jump is a huge one, considering that Nowport was valued at $80 million in March of 2021, according to CEO and co-founder Alfonso De los Ríos. In the first quarter of 2022, the company saw its revenue climb by “more than 12x” year-over-year, he said, while achieving a 10x growth year-over-year in containers shipped and customers served.

Nowports raised its initial seed round in 2019 after graduating from Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 batch with a mission to innovate the freight forwarding industry by helping companies — with an emphasis on SMEs — improve the import process. As former TC reporter Jonathan Shieber put it, the company was “sett[ing] itself up to be the Flexport of Latin America.” Its software and services track freight shipments from ports to destinations across Latin America. Over time, it has expanded its offerings and now also automates insurance policies for, and provides inventory financing, to its clients.

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