By Riley Kaminer
Moving freight around accounts for 16% of all corporate greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. The OECD notes that trucking is “by far the most harmful mode of goods transport,” citing the vast amount of carbon dioxide these vehicles release while burning fuel.
American trucks rack up more than 93 billion miles a year: over a thousand times the distance from the earth to the sun. With one gallon of diesel fuel releasing over 22 pounds of carbon dioxide, you don’t need to do much math to see how pressing this problem is.
Chilean startup SimpliRoute is helping companies cut down on their carbon footprints. Since being founded in 2015, it has helped its clients reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and logistics costs by 34% each – all while leading to a 30% reduction in delivery times and the accompanying increase in client satisfaction.
SimpliRoute accomplishes this feat by deploying its AI-powered platform, which enables users to increase the efficiency of their delivery routes. The startup’s services are available across Latin America.
This week, the startup launched in the US, starting with Miami. In an interview with Refresh Miami, founder and CEO Álvaro Echeverría called the move to South Florida “a natural progression.”
“We decided Miami was a good place to start, as we already had a network thanks to Laura [González-Estéfani], our investor from TheVentureCity.”
The US expansion made sense for SimpliRoute because of the company’s widespread adoption in Latin America, Echeverría explained. “We grew like crazy during the pandemic – with our revenue growing 3x last year and the year prior. There has been a change in paradigm, as customers started to buy more goods online and ask more of retailers.”
Currently, Mexico is SimpliRoute’s largest market, comprising 45% of their overall revenue. But Echeverría expects for the US market to grow rapidly. “The US will represent 30% of our business this year,” he asserted.
The SimpliRoute team has been preparing for this US launch for the last two months. Now, Echeverría is excited to get everything in place before retailers start to feel the strain of end of year holiday shopping, specifically targeting mid-sized companies.
“We are in a really strong position because we had to grow in a market that was very hard,” said Echeverría, referring to the notoriously tricky logistics issues Latin American retailers face. The US, with its strong and growing ecommerce market, presents a relatively straightforward opportunity for Echeverría.
To make this rapid growth happen, both Echeverría and co-founder Eyal Shats [pictured above] have relocated to Miami. At the moment, they are the only two of SimpliRoute’s 200 employees here. But Echeverría signaled that the Miami-based team will grow to 6 by year’s end, and 20 in 2023.
SimpliRoute’s customers include major retailers such as Walmart. “We trusted SimpliRoute to support us in the development of a tech platform that allowed us to be more efficient and optimize our processes,” commented Varinia Maluenda, Walmart’s Data Steward Lead of Omnichannel Supply Chain.
“We integrated the necessities of the business and understood what was happening in the teams that were going to be transformed by an AI and optimization algorithm,” Maluenda said. “Together we built this project.”
Yesterday, Echeverría joined a panel conversation at TheVentureCity’s Miami HQ, organized with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, about “How Miami is carving a data-driven path to sustainability.” In a conversation with the Council’s Matt Haggman, Echeverría explored ways cities can bolster sustainability through partnerships between government, private companies, and the VC industry.
Thus far, SimpliRoute has raised $11.2 million in venture funding, including an $8 million Series B in December 2021 and a $3 million Series A led by TheVentureCity in April 2020.
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