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German startup sennder buys Uber’s European freight business, Auto News, ET Auto

Sennder, founded in 2015, has rolled up the European freight tech sector, merging with France's Everoad and striking a joint venture with Poste Italiane this year. It has set its sights on making 1 billion euros in revenue by 2024.
Sennder, founded in 2015, has rolled up the European freight tech sector, merging with France’s Everoad and striking a joint venture with Poste Italiane this year. It has set its sights on making 1 billion euros in revenue by 2024.

BERLIN: German freight startup sennder said on Wednesday it had acquired Uber’s European freight business in an all-stock deal that will see the U.S. ride-hailing company become a minority shareholder.

The deal marks the second takeover this year by Berlin-based sennder, a digital freight forwarder that now leads in full-truck loads, a segment that accounts for more than a third of Europe’s 400 billion euro ($474 billion) freight industry.

“Our thesis is that you are going to have continental champions in road freight,” sennder CEO and co-founder David Nothacker told Reuters in an interview, adding that air and sea were more a domain for global players.

Terms for the deal were not disclosed, but a source familiar with the matter said it valued Uber Freight at around 900 million euros ($1.1 billion).

Sennder, founded in 2015, has rolled up the European freight tech sector, merging with France’s Everoad and striking a joint venture with Poste Italiane this year. It has set its sights on making 1 billion euros in revenue by 2024.

The company’s emergence as a regional leader has stoked investor interest and Nothacker said it was looking at raising 100 million euros or more in a new investment round. A stock market flotation is still 4-5 years away, he added.

For Uber, which entered the German freight market in July 2019, the deal will extend its reach in Europe while the alliance with sennder will extend to offering advanced freight logistics services in the United States and Canada.

Sennder is one of a number of logistics-focused startups in the bustling Berlin tech scene that has sought to modernise an industry dominated by family-owned trucking firms still used to working with a phone, pen and paper.

Its founders see huge potential to boost efficiency in the full-load market – where sennder matches 50,000 cargoes a month – by reducing the number of trips in which trucks return empty.

Investors Accel, Lakestar, HV Ventures, Project A and Scania have invested 120 million euros into sennder to date.

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