Freight forwarder Explorate receives $7.5m to scale at home

Freight forwarder Explorate receives $7.5m to scale at home

Explorate co-founders Alex Ewart and Conor Hagan.

Brisbane-based digital freight forwarder Explorate has bagged $7.5 million in funding today, with the Series A to fuel the company’s growth in Australia and set strategic partnerships in stone.

Led by Equity Venture Partners (EVP), proceeds from the raise will fund Explorate’s Australian expansion, with four more offices opening in Q1 2022 and recruitment efforts ramping up to grow the team to 70 within the next 12 months.

Founded in 2016 by Alex Ewart and Conor Hagan, Explorate’s platform gives importers and exporters digital access to quotes and bookings, real-time track and trace, digital dashboards and seamless workflow management tools.

The founders previously worked together in the freight forwarding space, and realised the potential to create a more efficient experience for clients using technology. As such, they set out to develop their own purpose-built operating system for global trade.

So far, Explorate has achieved impressive growth over the past six years, growing from a team of five to 20, and shipping $200 million worth of goods through the platform.

Explorate co-founder Conor Hagan said that supply chain disruptions in recent years have only highlighted the need for a new operating system that challenges the industry to be more transparent, efficient, and sustainable.

“We’ve seen a massive change in supply chains over the last few years. The information flow that is required to ship goods around the world is becoming increasingly complex and the cost of shipping internationally has increased by over 250 per cent in the last year alone,” said Hagan.

“Our platform helps importers and exporters to reduce these supply chain impacts by comparing rates and sailing times, simplifying complicated shipments as well as giving insight into the carbon impact of their logistics operations.

“Explorate was built with transparency at its core. We are continually working with our customers to push what was traditionally possible in their business and unlock more valuable partnerships in their supply chain.”

In addition to scaling the business, the company is working on launching several new features in early 2022, including using data to allow customers to build carbon neutral supply chains.

In the long-term, Ewart said Explorate is looking to establish a presence in South-East Asia once foundations at home are well and truly sturdy.

“The global market is obviously immense... “irrelevantly large” as one of our investors put it, so the opportunity for scale is an obvious one. Establishing ourselves in Australia is the short-term goal and we see New Zealand and Southeast Asia as major opportunities in the not too distant future,” Ewart said.

“Compared to how far other industries have come, technology’s real impact on supply chains is only in its embryonic stage. We want to show what Australian, and more broadly, global supply chains can be capable of if you foster the right mix of people, technology, and innovation.

“We have spent five years getting that mix right and are now ready to push for scale. We couldn’t be more confident in the team, our software and cohort of investors to give Explorate the global presence it deserves.”

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