OneRail: Delivery Orchestration Platform
March 4, 2021 | Ashley Brindamour
Online ordering has become a societal norm. With the click of a button, a jacket from France, a vase from Italy, or simply groceries from your nearby supermarket can be delivered right to your doorstep. While this luxury has many benefits for both businesses and consumers — increased revenue, broad customer reach, access to different cultural items, etc. — it also increases the need for faster and more efficient transportation services. Long-distance shipments in particular often require multiple modes of transport, such as air and sea travel.
OneRail, an Alumni Ventures Portfolio Company, addresses businesses’ need for improved shipment services through their all-in-one shipping orchestration platform that connects shippers to an extensive courier ecosystem of over 4.5 million fleet drivers. The company allows users to solve their delivery needs through automating, optimizing, and controlling the entire delivery supply chain, from the demand signal to the proof of delivery.
The Final Mile
According to an article by Honeywell, the final mile of a delivery is the most pertinent part of the shipment process, as it is the most reflective of a company’s customer service. Many challenges often plague this crucial delivery step, such as:
- No real-time visibility into the delivery process
- A limited number of couriers, most with varying capabilities
- Various shipping costs and limited delivery options
However, with OneRail, businesses can instantaneously choose the best courier to ship an order to their customer with the option for increased speed or reduced cost. OneRail’s platform also offers real-time visibility and multiple delivery options, such as same-day shipping, economy, and in-store pick-up.
What We Liked About the Deal
AVG’s Purple Arch Ventures (for Northwestern alumni and friends of the community) and sibling fund Triphammer Ventures (for Cornell alumni and friends of the community) deployed capital in OneRail’s $12.5 million seed round.
The company’s CEO Bill Catania is a fellow Cornell alum, who previously launched several startups and completed a successful exit. Alumni Ventures’ investment teams frequently leverage alumni connections to build relationships with promising companies and share investment opportunities with sibling funds.
We were impressed by several other aspects of the company and investment opportunity:
Established Lead Investor with Seed Expertise: Chicago Ventures led this round with a pro-rata commitment. Founded in 2011, Chicago Ventures invests in seed-stage and Series A technology companies that tackle broken markets. To date, they have made a total of 144 investments and have raised three funds. Participating investors included Las Olas Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Alpine Meridian, and CreativeCo Capital.
Customer Traction: OneRail’s key customers include Tractor Supply Co., Menards, Allergan, UPS, and American Tire. They are also currently in the deal negotiation stage with many other large enterprises.
Extensive Network: OneRail has a vast network of delivery partners — 6 million drivers, 150 couriers, and 75 freight/parcel carriers. The company has also built an end-to-end tech solution with a proven ROI for both shippers and carriers. Shippers benefit from a unified source of truth for the last mile orchestration, and carriers join the OneRail network to access shipper demand.