Monterrey’s startup Nowports secured US$150 million in a series C funding round led by Softbank Latin America Fund. The company reached a US$1.1 billion valuation becoming Mexico’s latest unicorn and Latin America’s first logtech company to reach this status.
“We are excited to invest once again in Nowports, a company that is revolutionizing its industry. In addition to the increasing focus on artificial intelligence, Big Data and IoT to improve the entire import and export chain, we believe the investment will help Nowports to consolidate its presence in the Brazilian market and create new services and solutions, becoming a true reference in innovation in Latin America,” said Juan Franck, Managing Partner, SoftBank Latin America Funds.
Nowports is the first and largest digital freight forwarder in Latin America, mixing logistics with financial and technological tools to ship cargo in an efficient, transparent and safe way, according the company. Nowports offer services for exports and imports, cargo insurance, finance options, air, ground and sea freight. The company has become Monterrey’s first unicorn and its CEO and Co-Founder, Alfonso de los Ríos, became the youngest co-founder of a unicorn in the history of Latin America at 23 years of age.
“Ever since Maximiliano Casal and I met in the US to start creating Nowports, we have known that we wanted to develop a solution for all of Latin America, which remains stuck in traditional processes. International trade involves all countries but each one has different regulations and conditions for opening an office,” de los Ríos wrote for MBN.
Nowports began operations in 2018, digitizing import and export processes and currently offers comprehensive logistics services. The company has offices in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, Panama and the US. After successfully establishing operations in Mexico, the company identified Chile and Colombia as the best countries to start its expansion, dividing global functions to serve all offices from local functions, to meet each country’s specific needs, wrote de los Ríos.
Monterrey’s startup reached the unicorn status amid a difficult environment, in which supply chain disruptions and logistics constraints have hit industries globally. Supply chain resilience is key during economic crises like the one in 2008 and the current one, de los Ríos said to Forbes: “We raised funds in these times of uncertainty seeing that despite the current situation and its impact on public markets and valuations, to survive the imminent recession, the world would need to continue globalizing. This includes much more import and export processes.”