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French Transportation Technology Preview

Innovation drives dealmaking.

Market overview

Transport and logistics companies are increasingly looking into ways to become more digital as they seek to adapt to demands from more environmentally conscious customers and address cost pressures coming from factors, such as the expected increase in oil prices.

By embracing technologies around data analytics, for example, the transportation sector has been improving intra-city delivery times, cutting down on carbon emissions by facilitating ride-sharing of empty vehicles and improving the driving experience.

The logistics space has also adopted initiatives of this type, incorporating tracking technology into baggage handling and intralogistics and using algorithms to effectively manage international deliveries of industrial products.

These trends are having a significant impact on the transportation and logistics space in France, a strategic pillar of the national economy. With a total of EUR 402bn in 2017, the amount spent on transportation services by individuals, corporations and public administrations in France represents 17.5% of the country’s GDP.

Over the last years, a new batch of French companies tackling the sector’s upcoming challenges has become increasingly attractive for venture capital funds and private equity sponsors.

Last February, French carsharing service Blablacar raised EUR 101m from national railway company SNCF and its existing investors. In May, Paris-based ride sharing platform Heetch received EUR 34m in a Series B round led by Cathay Capital.

Also last year, Fretlink, a software company which provides a platform for logistics flow organization, brought in EUR 25m in investment from a slew of investors including Daphni Ventures, Elaia Partners, Breega Capital, Weaving Invest, and Edenred; while Ovrsea, a digital freight forwarder, raised EUR 1.9m from Kima Ventures and Bpifrance’s Ambition Amorcage Angels.

Investors hailing from both France and outside the country will continue to look to capitalize on the growth opportunities and innovative technologies the French market has to offer. Companies such as Trucknet and Wakeo are among the players likely to attract future investment, as reported by Mergermarket. And as these nascent businesses mature, they will become likely targets to more established transportation and logistics players looking to stay ahead of the technology curve.

Companies to follow

Ziticity (10/01/20) - 2966254

Ziticity, a logistics startup, is planning a seed funding round of EUR 3m at the end of January, CEO Laimonas Noreika said. The Lithuanian company, which is already operating in Paris, will use the funds for geographical expansion, particularly in the French market, where it aims to expand to an additional eight cities. The company will offer an unspecified minority stake and handle the fundraising internally. Ziticity is targeting VC firms for investment, having previously raised funds from Estonian VC fund Superangel, Practica Capital, Estonian accelerator Startup Wiseguys, and an angel investor. Ziticity has developed a platform for crowd-sourced, same-day urban deliveries. Its technology connects couriers with businesses to deliver packages within an average 42 minutes.

Eyeware (09/01/20) - 2964197

Eyeware, a Swiss developer of 3D eye tracking software that can be used for automotive applications, is aiming to complete a seed funding round of USD 5m-USD 10m in exchange for an undisclosed minority stake, COO Serban Mogos said. The exact amount sought will depend on the company delivering major technical updates to its product, as well as starting its first commercial integration. The company plans to close the round by June 2020 and is targeting a global venture capital fund to help it expand to Asia or to the US. The company previously raised USD 2m in January; investors included High-Tech Grunderfonds, TRUMPF Venture, Swiss Startup Group and Zurich Kantonalbank. The company has offices in Switzerland, Romania, and Portugal, and is pursuing contracts in South Korea and Japan.

Carlili (18/12/19) - 2956011

Carlili, a car rental service that offers delivery and pickup, is planning to close EUR 23m in funding over Series A and Series B rounds by September 2020, CEO Vincent Moindrot said. The Paris-based company was most recently valued at EUR 9m. It is in talks to raise a Series A of EUR 3m, which it aims to close by the beginning of 2020. Ideal investors are France-based VCs who can help the Carlili grow domestically. By the end of March 2020, the company will begin raising a Series B round of approximately EUR 20m that it will aim to close by September. Present in Paris and Lyon, Carlili aims to expand to a total of 15 French cities by the end of 2020. It offers a marketplace where users can select a car offered at pre-negotiated rates by their rental agency partners, and have the car delivered to a point of their choice within two hours.

Alstef (13/12/19) - 2954189

Alstef, a manufacturer of automated systems for logistics and airports, is looking to acquire two or three companies in the next two years, CEO Pierre Marol said. The company will consider acquisitions in two sectors: baggage handling in airports, and intralogistics, which include warehousing and automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), to expand its geographical presence and increase product offerings. Acquisition targets will be sought in Europe, in countries where Alstef has not yet entered the market, or in the US, where Alstef is not yet present. Though Alstef has no specified budget for acquisitions, acquisitions would likely fall between EUR 5m and EUR 50m in size.

Wakeo (05/12/19) - 2949890

Wakeo, a developer of SaaS which monitors transport logistics for large companies, is planning to raise between EUR 3.5m and EUR 5.5m in 2021, founder and CEO Julien Cote said. The company, which is also in the midst of completing a fundraise of up to EUR 4m by 2Q20, plans to close the next round in 2022. The raised proceeds will be used to accelerate the development of its proprietary SaaS product, expand internationally to Germany and the UK, and perfect its algorithms, as well as bring on business development and marketing teams.

Trucknet (04/12/19) - 2949219

Trucknet, a transit and logistics optimisation platform provider, is planning to raise between EUR 5m and EUR 10m by the end of 2021, CEO Hanan Friedman said. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand into the UK and Germany by securing clients in these markets. It is also considering moving into the Netherlands and Belgium. Trucknet is targeting investors who are interested in financial products as well as those who are familiar with the transport logistics industry.

Fretlink (22/11/19) - 2942870

Fretlink, a software publisher for the transportation industry, could make acquisitions to boost its European growth, CEO and co-founder Paul Guillemin said. Potential targets would be companies developing similar software solutions for the transportation sector. Fretlink would focus on companies that are in their earlier stages of development, have already raised a Series A, generate up to EUR 10m in sales, employ up to 20 staff, and are willing to be bought by another player to accelerate their future growth. Acquisitions could be considered anywhere in Europe, but Spain, Italy and the UK are particularly interesting geographies.

Hap2U (13/11/19) - 2923875

Hap2U, a sensory design company, plans to raise over EUR 10m in a Series B round by the end of 2020, COO Franck Minair said. It will offer an unspecified minority stake in the company in exchange for the funding. The company’s pre-money valuation is estimated to be EUR 60m. Hap2U is seeking industrial investors who can help develop the company’s technology, which can be used for mobility applications. It previously raised EUR 4m in Series A funding from German car manufacturer Daimler. The company generates revenue by licensing its technology to automotive and home appliance companies.

Luckabox (12/11/19) - 2936125

Luckabox, a SaaS on-demand delivery management platform for enterprises, is planning a Series A round of CHF 3m-CHF 5m, which will aim to close by the end of next year, CEO Aike Festini said. Both strategic investors and VCs would be of interest. The Zurich-based company will use the funds to further its presence in German-speaking regions, as well as the French-speaking part of Switzerland.


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