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SGX leads latest US$44.4m, Series C funding round for online freight platform Freightos

THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) has completed a US$44.4 million, Series C funding round for Freightos, described as the world's largest online marketplace for sea freight rates.

SGX, which operates the local bourse, was joined by existing Freightos investors including General Electric Ventures, ICV, Aleph, and others.

"Together with Freightos, SGX will explore the development of financial instruments to introduce the transparency, agility and risk mitigation that other industries already enjoy, beginning with enhancements to the FBX container freight index shifting to daily reporting," Freightos said in a press statement.

The Freightos global rate database drives the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX), in collaboration with the Baltic Exchange which is part of the SGX group.

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Since its mid-2016 launch, Freightos' marketplace has expanded from price comparison to instant booking, online shipment management, tracking, and communication, the company said.

Its aim is transform the "old fashioned" international shipping industry into one whose rates and capacity are as transparent as those for passenger air travel, said Zvi Schreiber, Freightos' founder and chief executive, by leveraging multiple data points and a network of over 1,200 logistics providers.

The overall mission for Freightos is to "be like an Expedia, or Ctrip" for freight, Mr Schreiber told The Business Times.

"The meteoric growth of the Freightos marketplace and success of our platform for freight rate management and digital sales, shows that importers and exporters are looking for radically better freight services, while carriers and forwarders are eager to deliver by leveraging technology," said Mr Schreiber.

Michael Syn, head of derivatives at SGX, said: "Freightos is at the forefront of a new wave of solutions for price discovery and digital marketplaces in global freight – an industry at the heart of the global economy. SGX is excited by the potential to develop risk management tools and services and build on Singapore's unique position in the trade ecosystem, to bridge the physical and financial markets."