Congratulations to our team and our investors on this exciting milestone. Not many startups ever get to become public companies. Together, we did it.
But this is far from being the destination.
While the milestone of going public recognizes what we have achieved in the last 11 years, we certainly know that we still have a long way to go, together with our industry partners, to digitalize international freight. Going public is not an end goal. On the contrary, today we raised more capital in order to finance our continued growth. And today we embrace the transparency and responsibility that comes with being publicly traded. We’re just getting started.
At Freightos, we have always positioned ourselves as a vendor-neutral platform, connecting the industry and never ourselves taking on the role of shipper, forwarder or carrier. And a platform is only as good as what is built on top of it. Today I thank our ecosystem of tens of thousands of customers and partners who build on our platform. This is all of your celebration too.
Specifically, my thanks to the airlines and ocean liners who trust WebCargo by Freightos as a digital distribution platform. Thanks to freight forwarders who procure air and ocean capacity digitally on WebCargo and to those who use WebCargo software to automate their pricing and sales. And thanks to all the importers and exporters who procure freight services digitally via freightos.com and who buy online customs brokerage services from Clearit. Finally, our Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) of container rates and our Freightos Air Index (FAX).
People complain that freight is a traditional industry. I am guilty of saying this myself.
Our many thousands of customers are proving otherwise. They prove that this industry can adopt technology when it makes sense, and can embrace data and transparency. Together we are building better international freight, as an improved foundation for world trade.
But going public is primarily about our shareholders….
In the past I knew almost every single one of our shareholders personally and those were important relationships for the company.
Today that changes. I welcome our new shareholders and thank you for your trust in me and in Freightos. We will be honest and transparent with you. In the interest of openness, I want to be clear that I recommend you view CRGO as a long-term investment. Bookings on our platform are growing fast and consistently, but turning our growing transaction volume into massive revenue and profit will take time.
If you are a patient investor who appreciates how digital platform businesses are some of the most valuable and defensible businesses on the planet, if you saw the impact of digitalizing retail, travel and financial services, and want to be part of the next big digital revolution, that of global shipping, and if you understand it will take years, I think we might be the right investment for you. Over time I believe we can build a very large, profitable company and bring you great returns. And if you do choose to join us, welcome onboard and please stay in touch with us at https://www.freightos.com/investors. We will aim to communicate with you almost as if we knew you all personally.
We went public via a business combination with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company – a SPAC. Some SPACs have gotten a bad reputation. But Gesher 1, led by Ezra Gardner, has been a truly outstanding partner. Gesher brought to the table top-tier long term investors, led by Carl Vine of M&G who spent real time getting to know Freightos over several months. You don’t normally get that kind of investor in a traditional IPO. And all of this in a tough market. We are fortunate to have Gesher and M&G as our partners, and further investment from our partner Qatar Airways, as we debut in the public markets.
Below are the comments I made just before ringing the opening bell of Nasdaq in Times Square this morning, you can also watch it here.
Zvi Schreiber Remarks at Nasdaq
Global trade is important. It connects people around the world. It creates billions of jobs. It delivers essentials: food, clothes, medicines; and luxuries like cellphones and toys. Check the label on your clothes. If international shipping didn’t exist, well, we’d all be standing here naked. 90% of products in the US are imported, mostly arriving by sea, in a container, or by air cargo.
Twelve years ago I was managing just one of millions of companies that import and export. We would wait days for a simple price quote for air and ocean freight and the price quotes were complex and non-binding. It was inefficient and opaque.
Meanwhile, other industries had gone through their digital revolutions for booking and payments. Nasdaq hosts companies such as Booking Holdings, Sabre, PayPal and Uber. I realized that the trillion dollar international freight industry was overdue for digitalization.
For those who were skeptical, the last three years were a wake up call. Supply chains buckled under the effects of a pandemic, increasingly erratic weather, and labor disputes. The need for digitalization is more apparent than ever. And at last, in five minutes time, Nasdaq will host a fast-growing digital booking and payment platform for international freight.
It took us over a decade of hard work to get here. To our fabulous Freightos team around the world, including WebCargo, Clearit and 7LFreight a heartfelt: thank you, gracias, shukran, toda, Nandri, and xie xie. This is all of our celebration.
We’re surrounded here by investors who have backed us for a decade together with the Gesher team, M&G, and other new investors. Thank you all. Our work is just getting started. We’re not going public to exit, but to double down and accelerate our investment and growth. Our journey together continues.
On a personal note I’m grateful for the love and support of my wife and parents and of my kids and family.
Although we are called Freightos, which hints at freight operating system, we chose to list under the synonym Cargo, C-R-G-O. Cargo, or carga in Spanish, originally means a load or burden. And while global freight supports some $19 trillion in global trade, what a burden shipping has been. Today digital international shipping comes of age. With our partners in the industry, carriers, forwarders and shippers, we are on track to deliver transparency and efficiency to international shipping. Cargo will no longer be a burden.
Thanks and congratulations!