(TECHCRUNCH) uShip, a marketplace for freight, household goods and vehicle shipping, has raised $18 million in Series C funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). This financing brings the total capital raised by uShip to $28 million. Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures invested in earlier rounds.
uShip has been trying to disrupt the shipping space by bringing a lot of the booking process and sourcing online. The marketplace allows consumers and businesses to compare and book upfront quotes, name their own price or receive auction style bids from thousands of customer-reviewed Transportation Service Providers, ranging from independent owner-operators to the largest freight carriers and brokers.
On the carrier side, uShip gives shipping and moving companies access to transport jobs and carriers only pay a transaction fee on jobs they complete. uShip also gives service providers free tools to help them establish and build their online business reputation through its feedback system and customer reviews.
The company, which is based in Austin, Texas, operates globally with localized sites in 18 countries and regions on five continents, including North America, Europe, South America, India and Australia. uShip is also expanding its marketing and development efforts in Brazil, and Latin America.
Recently the company debuted a “Pro” platform for the B2B side of its business. This allows business shippers and freight brokers to build their own carrier networks, as well as manage and automate their shipping operations. uShip PRO is primarily aimed at the $300 billion truckload freight market in the U.S. The company is also planning to develop its mobile applications and platform.
Matt Chasen, CEO and founder of uShip, tells us that the company has already served 1.6 million shipping customers and 325,000 registered carriers, and will be scaling through further development of Pro, mobile and international.
Shipping Wars, the A&E real-life series that features uShip. The show, which airs Wednesdays at 10/9c, follows six independent truck drivers who use uShip to competitively bid to transport over-sized, bulky loads found on the online transport marketplace. The first two seasons of Shipping Wars attracted an audience of 2-3 million viewers per episode, consistently placing it among the top 10 shows on cable, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Funds will primarily be used to extend the development, sales and marketing of uShip’s commercial freight platform, mobile platform and global presence.
As Chasen explains, uShip is trying to streamline a business that has traditionally been managed offline. And it appears that the company is seeing success in this. uShip will post $100 million in gross shipping volume sales and he expects this number to grow significantly in the coming year.
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