German start-up buys Uber’s freight business in Europe

The platform start-up Sennder wants to digitize freight forwarding in Europe. Now the Berliners are making a prominent purchase – Uber is also becoming a shareholder.

Many possibilities for digitization: trucks on the Kölner Ring

Dhe logistics start-up Sennder takes over the European freight business of the American transport service provider Uber. The Berliners are paying for the takeover with their own shares, as they announced on Wednesday. In this respect, Uber will become a shareholder in the digital platform through the takeover. “The acquisition of Uber Freight consolidates our leading position,” said Sennder boss David Nothacker.

Sender is a digital forwarding company based on a platform model. This means that independent truck drivers or smaller haulage companies can register online with the company and accept orders that Sennder arranges for them. In this way, the business model is easily scalable, so it can grow quickly in a short period of time. The Gütersloh start-up Schüttflix, a specialist in the delivery of bulk goods, is acting in a similar way. In logistics, Sennder concentrates on full loads – that is, fully completed trucks, the contents of which are brought to a single recipient.

As part of the takeover, Sennder and the remaining Uber Freight business will enter into a strategic partnership. Freight carriers and logistics companies in the United States and Canada, for example, should benefit from Sennder’s technology in the future. In addition, a transatlantic freight forwarder brokerage program is to be set up: Sennder can bring freight forwarders in North America looking for freight brokerage into contact with Uber Freight in this way, and vice versa this also applies to Uber Freight in Europe.

Sennder is also expanding into the Netherlands, where Uber Freight was previously headquartered in Europe. The Uber team there will work for Sennder in the future, the Uber Freight Europe brand will disappear from the market. Two executives from Uber’s European team will move to the Sennder management team.

It is already the second takeover for the German company. Sennder only teamed up with French competitor Everoad in the summer. Since it was founded in 2015, the Berlin-based company, which earns money with agency fees, has raised more than 120 million euros in capital from investors such as Accel and Lakestar. According to its own information, it moves more than 50,000 trucks in 31 countries every month. After the takeover, there will be 500 employees. The company does not disclose its sales or profits.