Container tracking firm Traxens raises €23m, buys rival NEXT4, plots global expansion
France-based container tracking company Traxens has raised €23 million in a further funding round, led by existing investors, and at the same time acquired local rival NEXT4, which produces removable and reusable box trackers. Traxens, which counts Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) among its backers, makes permanent cellular-based IoT trackers for shipping containers. The size of the deal for NEXT4 has not been disclosed.
Traxens, launched in 2012 and headquartered in Marseille, has made a name for itself as the go-to tracking solution provider in the shipping industry, with major investment from shipping companies CMA CGM and MSC, as well as from Maersk. It is involved variously with smart container projects and pilots at the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Valencia, and holds a key stake in the French Smart Port in Med initiative in Marseille.
Traxens also has deals with logistics and transport providers Inter Transit Pharma (ITP) and Inter Transit et Prestations Logistiques (ITPL) for real-time precision tracking of consignments of pharmaceuticals and auto-parts by air and sea to Africa. It is engaged variously with the likes of IBM, Cisco, Esri, Axians, and Intel in smart port and shipping projects. Its new €23 million funding follows on from a €20 million Series C round in 2019.
Its tracking devices include sensors for measuring location, geo-fencing, movement, shock, and external temperature. They are connected via 2G and 3G cellular networks, and GNSS; the firm is looking at LTE/4G upgrades, with 2G-fallback. The deal for NEXT4 expands Traxens IoT portfolio to include removable (and reusable) trackers, as well as permanent fixtures.
“Tens of thousands” of NEXT4 trackers have been adopted already by leading freight forwarders, including Bolloré Logistics and DB Schenker. A number of airlines have also approved NEXT4’s newest tracker, as a smaller and more versatile device adapted to air freight. The acquisition means Traxens’s customers will have access to “at least one” tracking solution, which it suggested was ‘win’ in light of the Covid-19 impact on the supply chain.
Traxens said: “Shippers… can either use a pre-equipped container or a removable cargo tracker.” The NEXT4 brand will be retained, and the business will continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of Traxens, based in Toulouse. Cédric Rosemont, the company’s chief executive and founder, will also serve as chief marketing officer at Traxens. The ambition is to make Traxens the “number one company in the international market of overseas cargo visibility”.
The new funding will be used to build new partnerships with container leasing companies, insurance companies, and transport management systems, and help Traxens move into the North American, South American, and Asian markets. Traxens said it also will use the funds to expand its portfolio of solutions to address the increasing needs of freight forwarders and beneficial cargo owners (BCO) for supply chain transparency.
David Marchand, chief executive at Traxens, said: “Integrating NEXT4… increases our ability to serve the growing needs of our customers as they digitize their business processes, while adding freight transparency, cargo security and goods integrity. We will bring to the market a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that gives our customers the flexibility to choose between a permanent or removable tracker, which is a unique option in our target markets.”
Cédric Rosemont, chief executive and founder at NEXT4, said: “Joining Traxens… enables us to market our innovative solution on an international scale and to jointly develop new products and solutions. Our highly complementary solutions will meet the current and future challenges of shippers and logistics providers. This means NEXT4’s customers also benefit from Traxens’ solutions, which are now being widely deployed by container owners.”