Freight shipment tracking startup FourKites banks $35M Series B

Fourkites, a freight-shipment tracking startup that provides real-time visibility and predictive analytics to shippers and 3PLs (third-party logistics providers) raised a $ 35M Series B from August Capital. Existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners also participated in the round.

A driver-facing app to capture proof-of-delivery, e-signature and delivery site ratings

The latest round brings FourKites’ total funding to $ 51M. The company will use the funding proceeds for geographic and product-line expansion. Since its founding in 2014, FourKites has scored several high-profile customers including Unilever for supply chain tracking across Europe, AB InBev in South Africa, Best Buy, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, and US Foods among others. The company’s fast growth is understandable given that manufacturers and other businesses are relying on ‘just-in-time’ shipments of components and raw materials. And, customers are able to see in advance if the shipment will be on time or late.

FourKites Insights & Benchmarking

FourKites’ key use cases include shipment location tracking, real-time trailer temperature, condition monitoring, and predictive analytics. It currently provides services to industry segments including truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL), rail, ocean, and parcel.

The solution works by tracking a load throughout its lifecycle. The load info and carrier name are pulled from shipper’s TMS/ERP. It then pulls truck, trailer, and GPS identifier from dispatch system. It then pulls data from a shipment’s GPS/ELD and Telematics system like TomTom Telematics, Zonar, or Vnomics. Typically, FourKites’s system pings the telematics device every 15 minutes. On the last leg of the solution, FourKites provides a driver-facing app to capture proof-of-delivery, e-signature and delivery site ratings.

FourKites’ key competitors include TransFix, Cargomatic, Cargo Chief, and Trucker Path, though, these companies have a different operating model.

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HomePod orders are preparing for shipment

HomePod orders are now “preparing for shipment” one week after Apple kicked off sales. Customers who have already claimed their device are seeing their credit cards charged ahead of the speaker’s February 9 launch. HomePod makes its debut in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. You can still place orders for launch day delivery through […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

First HomePod Pre-Order Customers Get Charged as Speakers Prepare for Shipment

One week ahead of HomePod’s launch date in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia on February 9, the first batch of pre-order customers have begun receiving notifications from their banks about being charged for their orders, many located in the UK. According to tips, customers have noticed a charge placed on their cards related to HomePod orders as of early this morning, one week after pre-orders initially went up last Friday, January 26.

Image via MacRumors forum member smr

As customers begin getting charged, shipment preparations are also gearing up for HomePod and some MacRumors forum members have shared that their orders are “preparing for dispatch” with the expected delivery date of February 9.

This places HomePod pre-order shipping schedules on track with previous Apple device launches, and more users should begin noticing charges and shipment preparation order updates throughout the day. Next, the first set of HomePods will likely begin shipping out this weekend or early next week.

Initial hands-on impressions of the speaker have been positive, with a few websites enjoying the design of the HomePod, a “fast and seamless” integration with Siri, and favoring the audio quality over rival speakers like Sonos One and Google Home Max.

Among those giving impressions was a user on the audiophile subreddit, who noted “significantly better” audio than Google Home Max, and summed up their post by stating, “A single HomePod, for the size and price, slaughters most speakers under $1000.”

For those who haven’t yet pre-ordered, HomePod orders placed on today are still available for a February 9 delivery or pick-up date in both White and Space Gray.

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