Our investment in Onward

Freight marketplace that connects retailers with trucks - freight hitchhiking!

We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund III has completed an investment in Onward Delivery. Onward Delivery is a freight marketplace that connects heavy goods retailers with trucks already heading towards their delivery destination. 

Background: Currently, there is a supply chain crisis in the United States. While today much of the crisis is affecting shipping ports and what is known as the “middle mile” industry (i.e. the delivery of goods from a warehouse or distribution center to fulfillment facilities, including retail stores), it is expected that issues will move downstream into the “final mile,” or the last 50 miles of delivery to the customer. Customers are already experiencing these issues, with extended wait times for delivery of many medium and large-sized goods. For brands that are unable to meet the demands of their customers due to shipping issues, this is a major problem. 

What’s causing this crisis? The answer is few-fold. One is a shortage of drivers, leaving fewer trucks on the road to deliver goods. The second is inefficiencies in the delivery system itself, with 95 percent of trucks never filled to full capacity, and 40 percent of the time less than half-capacity. 

These inefficiencies create not only delays, but huge costs for companies that need products delivered. This is especially an issue for heavy goods companies, with items like furniture and appliances now taking an average of 35 days to arrive to the end customer. 

Overall, this crisis has created bad customer experiences for both retailers and consumers, with delays and poor delivery options, and also struggles for delivery companies forced to run inefficiently, lowering margins and profits. 

Company Specifics: Onward Delivery is working to solve the supply chain crisis by creating a marketplace that matches heavy goods retailers with trucks based on the direction their products are going. 

Also called “item hitchhiking,” this allows retailers to pick from a variety of options, optimizing for speed, cost, and manner that products are delivered. It also allows delivery companies to add items to their existing routes, increasing the utilization of their trucks and their profitability. Finally, consumers benefit as well by getting their products much sooner thanks to an overall more efficient system.

The first “solutions driving marketplace,” Onward Delivery’s technology allows all parties to see their options and become more efficient. With fewer miles per each product delivered, Onward Delivery also helps create a more sustainable delivery industry, requiring fewer trucks on the road and increasing the efficiency of existing trucks. 

Onward Delivery’s founders have worked in the final mile delivery industry for over seven years, and have seen first hand the inefficiencies in the industry, as well as the fragmentation that creates those inefficiencies. We first met them through Techstars Iowa, and were able to mentor them through that program. With their experience not only at freight brokerages but also owning and running companies themselves, they know the importance of evolving this industry and are well-poised to do so. 

Learn more at:

Natty Zola
December 6, 2021