Trucksters closes €33 million Series B round backed by Continental, Volvo Group and the EIB
- Trucksters, a freight transport company based in Madrid (Spain), is set to become Europe’s first electric long-haul operator by using this new capital to expand the electrification of its routes, in Spain and internationally
- Volvo Group Venture Capital, Continental and the European Investment Bank, join existing investors including international funds Amplifier VC and Metavallon VC, and Spanish funds BigSur Ventures, Bonsai Partners, Kibo Ventures, and The Valley VC.
- New investment will also help strengthen and grow the company’s management and IT teams, and open 10 new corridors in 2023 and 2024.
Trucksters, the Spanish road freight operator which has disrupted the long-haul sector with the use of AI and big data, has closed a Series B round of 33 million euros. The new capital injection, backed up by new and existing investors, will be used to fulfil some of the company’s strategic objectives including electrifying its routes, potentially making Trucksters the first electric long-haul operator in Europe.
The new investment will back other key developments including growing and strengthening the IT and management teams, and opening new international corridors, improvements which will support the firm’s overall goal of improving the working conditions of drivers whilst delivering efficient transport solutions for its clients.
The new round is backed by new investors including Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit, Volvo Group Venture Capital, part of the Swedish multinational vehicle manufacturer, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and FondICO, Spain’s “fund of funds.”
The funding received from the EIB is part of European InvestEU, an investment programme focused on the EU’s shared priorities which include ‘Innovation, digitisation and human capital,’ climate action and environmental sustainability, all of which are key to Trucksters’ business strategy.
New investors join existing ones who, with this backing, demonstrate their support and believe in Trucksters’ ability to revolutionize the transport sector making it more efficient, safe, productive and people centric.
Existing investors include the international funds Amplifier VC and Metavallon VC, as well as the Spanish funds Big Sur Ventures, Bonsai Partners, Kibo Ventures, and The Valley VC. Also Sacha Michaud, co-founder of Glovo and member of the Board of Directors as Non-Executive Chairman, is investing again in this round.
Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit is participating in this new round for the first time. Jürgen Bilo, managing director of Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit explains: “investing in Trucksters is in line with our vision of the future of mobility; embracing innovative data-driven fleet management solutions, ensuring operational efficiency, whilst driving sustainable growth. We are convinced that the Trucksters model will revolutionize fleet management and shape the future of transportation.”
Martin Witt, president of Volvo Group Venture Capital, agrees: “We are impressed by what Trucksters has already accomplished and see that the Volvo Group can help add strategic value to the development of their business. With a growing need for freight transportation, relay systems can provide a solid structure for electrification of long-haul transportation as well as for autonomous solutions in the future,” he says.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Trucksters through this investment with our InvestEU programme, which helps accelerate the transition to sustainable, efficient and innovative transport models. As a bank focused on addressing the world’s climate challenges, we are very proud to support initiatives aimed at decarbonizing transport, in line with our financing policies for the sector. This investment also will help boost Spain and the EU’s digital transition in,” stresses Ricardo Mourinho Félix, vice-president of the EIB.
Luis Bardají, co-founder and CEO of Trucksters says: “When we created Trucksters we never imagined that, only after a few years, we would be in a position to sign a partnership with flagship companies like Volvo Group and Continental. Having them as our shareholders is a dream: safety, focusing on drivers, sustainability, and electrification are some of the hallmarks of both companies and the reasons why Trucksters was created in the first place.”
Bardají also explains that the partnership is key to the development of Trucksters as it will help them “learn from them and their legacy. We can’t wait to start this new stage together.”
Significant growth, achievements and a business model that delivers
Trucksters had previously raised €14.3 million when it closed a Series A round in March last year.
The company posted a record annual revenue figure of €30 million in 2022, which was a 300% increase from 2021 (up four times from last year).
With an equally impressive annual sales growth of 300% in 2022, one of the key factors in the company’s success has been targeting large clients with a high growth capacity, providing them with fast and reliable solutions such as increasing the size of their fleet to support high demand. For example, in 2022, Trucksters managed to increase its fleet three times, overcoming significant challenges such as Europe’s severe driver shortage.
Trucksters is already present in Spain, Belgium, Germany and Poland, and operating in seven countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain.
Since 2020 it has been successfully operating routes between Europe and Spain optimizing its truck relay system with the use of big data and artificial intelligence.
The company has managed to deliver airline-like efficiency in four corridors: the Central/Northern Spain connected to Dortmund, the Spanish Levante connected to Benelux and West Germany, the Levante to Poland and the latest opening this year, its new corridor for Central Spain connected to UK, Trucksters’ first corridor outside the EU, linking Barcelona and Northern Spain to the UK in 28 – 34 hours, 50% faster than current road-transport times.
Trucksters transported more than 600 fully loaded trucks and carried out almost 2,000 relays in 2022. In addition, its rapid expansion has also grown its team to 103 people, currently.
Trucksters’ transport proposition is already being used by more than 600 renowned Spanish and international companies such as Samsung, Bosch, LG, DHL and Nestlé, achieving very positive results.
The company plans to become one of the first long-haul freight operators to use electric vehicles by the end of 2023. The company, also one of the first operators to pursue the goal of zero emissions, will soon start using several electric trucks, increasing the number of electric vehicles throughout the year, aiming to reach its goal of fully-electrifying one of its routes by 2023, at the very least. Trucksters’ transport service helps drivers sleep more nights at home, as they only drive sections of a longer route. At relay points, they swap semitrailers to drive other goods in the opposite direction. Thanks to these relays, drivers’ quality of life is improved, while delivering a faster, more cost-efficient service for its clients.
Trucksters is a transportation operator that provides FTL long distance transportation service with an innovative relay system based on Big data and Artificial Intelligence. Created in 2018 by Luis Bardají, Gabor Balogh and Ramón Castro, Trucksters’ goal is to make the global road freight industry more efficient and dignified for the professionals in the sector. Trucksters reduces long-distance road transit time by up to 50% by allowing trucks to be continuously on the move through relays.
About Continental Corporate Venture Capital
Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) unit invests in young technology companies, giving startups direct access to Continental’s global mobility and industry expertise. The CVC unit focuses on early-stage companies that operate in Continental’s long-term, strategic growth areas. Founded in 2018, it aims to foster innovation rapidly and effectively in order to accelerate transformation across industries.
About Volvo Group Venture Capital
Volvo Group Venture Capital was founded in 1997 and invests globally in startup and scaleup companies. The aim is to drive transformation by facilitating the creation of new services and solutions and to support collaborations between innovative companies and the Volvo Group. The market trends shaping the future of transportation and the strategic priorities of the Volvo Group define the investment focus areas: Logistics Services, Site Solutions, Electrification, and Climate Tech.
About the EIB
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term financing institution of the European Union whose shareholders are its Member States. The EIB finances sound investments contributing to the achievement of EU policy objectives.