Madrid-founded startup Ontruck has raised €17m in a round led by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative to expand and improve its efficiency-saving logistics technology.

Ontruck’s platform allows clients to manage freight deliveries by matching loads to vehicles, using artificial intelligence software to try and optimise journeys, cutting down on wasted miles and empty space in trucks.

Ontruck already has 150 employees and offices in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris and Amsterdam, but for founder and chief executive Iñigo Juantegui, the startup’s savings of 730 tonnes of industry Co2 since 2015 is his proudest achievement.

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“I did the numbers the other day and it’s equivalent to the Co2 consumed by 30,000 trees,” he says. “It’s equivalent to one year of eight Hyde Parks, for me it’s something I’m very proud of.”

Juantegui says that a new office in Germany was the company’s top priority, but due to the Covid-19 crisis, Ontruck will now be focussing on improving its technology.

“I think it’s the right moment to double down on the things we know how to do and keep growing our current business and core capabilities,” he says.

One priority for the Ontruck team will be developing the company’s forecasting capabilities, allowing clients to better predict levels on demand based on location. It’s a growth area for the startup which is able to leverage the vast amounts of data it’s generated in its five years of operating.

Juantegui says his company’s machine learning-based approach is modernising client’s approach to data in a serious way.

“Some of these big clients that we have, the way they manage their data and the way they analyse their data in order to do a demand forecast or to program their shipments to one warehouse or another is through Excel sheets,” he explains. “So you can understand: a human with an Excel sheet; the power that it has compared to a bunch of engineers with machine learning algorithms, it’s like day and night.”

Juantegui adds that this ability to better predict where and when demand for freight will be is even more valuable in a post-Covid-19 world, where supply chains will be less and less predictable.

And in a week where Madrid-based K Fund also launched a new €70m fund, this year-topping funding round in Spain provides more welcome news for the ecosystem.

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