Fr8Labs, a Singapore and Indonesia-based artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled freight logistics technology startup, has announced the successful completion of its seed funding round, raising $1.5 million.

Fr8Labs said in a statement on Thursday that the funding is coming from East Ventures, FEBE Ventures, Kaya Founders, Mulia Sky Capital, Seedstars, Venturra, and various angel investors.

According to the statement, the funds raised will primarily support the continued development and market expansion of Fr8Labs’ products.

In the near future, Fr8Labs will expand the service experience by offering multiple relevant ancillary products, such as WMS, FX trade, financing, cargo insurance, visibility and rates management, and a marketplace, all integrated into one platform.

Fr8Labs aims to establish an open ecosystem that enables forwarders to utilize its platform as a foundational “lego-block” for integrating and managing multiple logistics tech applications.

This unified experience within a single interface is crucial, enabling the company to leverage a “best of breed” approach in creating a unified digital platform.

Ultimately, Fr8Labs’s unified digital platform will not only increase efficiencies and revenue to freight forwarders but also enhance its service to its end customers, reaping the benefits of aggregation and digital transformation, empowering them with capabilities akin to those of large digital enterprise forwarders.

“We are thrilled to receive the trust and support from the investors,

“We believe this support will further enable us to enhance our logistics technology solutions so that we can provide value-added services across the value chain,” said Glenn Lai, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fr8Labs.

“With our tailored and innovative solutions, we are allowing the players to become more efficient and competitive,

“With the significant opportunities that lie ahead in the market, we are excited to continue revolutionizing the way freight forwarders operate,” he added.

Fr8Labs is a freight logistics technology startup dedicated to the digitalization of the freight forwarding industry in Asia.

Its innovative solutions focus on providing modern tools to Asia’s freight forwarders.

Its vision is to revolutionize the way freight forwarders operate and enable small and medium-sized business (SMB) and mid-market forwarders to enjoy the benefits of digital transformation and capability of large digital enterprise forwarders.

Fr8Labs was founded in early 2022 by Glenn Lai (Chief Executive Officer), Felix Lu (Chief of Product and Technology Officer).

Glenn Lai, who was previously Chief Operating Officer of Bizzy Indonesia and comes from a forwarder family background, noticed a gap between the current development of the freight forwarder industry in Asia and relatively digitized markets such as the United States, and decided to address the opportunity.

Cited a report by OECD, Fr8Labs said the Southeast Asian logistics market represents a massive opportunity for growth, with a total value of approximately $389 billion in 2022 with 11.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 5 years.

Currently, the firm is already operating with paying customers in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Taiwan, and Australia with plans to serve the rest of Asia.

“The application of technology is crucial in logistics because it can help to increase cost efficiency and productivity, yet players in the industries are not immune to challenges in enhancing digital logistics,

“Fr8Labs’ innovative tech solution is here to address the challenges freight forwarders face in Southeast Asia,” said Roderick Purwana, Managing Partner at East Ventures.

“With the team’s expertise, we are confident that Fr8Labs can transform the logistics industry, adding value across the value chain,

“We look forward to supporting Fr8Labs as they continue to grow and expand,” he added.

Meanwhile, FEBE Ventures Managing Partner Olivier Raussin said that the founders have the rare combination of technical expertise and operational experiences, strong ambitions rooted in deep domain knowledge.

“We are excited to back this founding team as they innovate freight forwarding in Asia,” he added.

Patricia Sosrodjojo, General Partner at Seedstars International Ventures also commented that at Fr8Labs, they’re blending AI with a deep understanding of freight logistics to create solutions that are both innovative and practical.

“Our investment reflects our belief in their potential to streamline operations and bring a new level of efficiency to the industry in Southeast Asia,” she added.

It is noted that Fr8Labs develops multiple innovative solutions for freight forwarders in Asia, including a cloud Operating System and a Generative-AI assistant bot that aims to serve as an AI co-pilot for forwarders, truly leapfrogging the digitalization of the industry.

These functions aim to solve pain points by streamlining operations, including the integration of shipment job processes and integration between various internal and external stakeholders’ functions, such as between sales and operations (CRM and Accounting), and linking platforms like emails and chat platforms.

One practical use case is instead of performing multiple manual data entries, a forwarder can simply upload a PDF of a shipping order on our platform, and have the shipment booking and other required workflows automatically created, producing various complete documents in one step, and reducing human error that could cause delays such as error in submission to customs.

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