Short-haul freight network Torch

US-based Torch, the first short-haul freight network focused on lanes 50-550 miles, raised US$ 3.5 million in seed funding on 15 April 2021.

Investors: The funding round was led by Maersk Growth, with participation from Schematic Ventures, Bluestein Ventures, Anorak Ventures, Supply Chain Ventures, and SaaS Ventures. Mike Bosch joined as VP of Engineering. He is a 20-year veteran engineer and expert in anomaly detection. Robert Baggio joined as VP of Operations and Strategy. He is serving as an investment analyst and banker at Cantor Fitzgerald, Rotation Capital and GLC Advisors.

Purpose of the funding: The funds raised by the company will be utilized to expand its network and analytics capabilities, as well as customer service efforts.

About Torch


Founded in 2019 by Abtin Hamidi, Torch is a short-haul network platform dedicated to assembling the largest network of reliable short-haul and drayage carriers. It enables instant capacity and real-time visibility. Torch claims to be the first network to launch with both a commitment to the short-haul category and technology purpose-built for the short-haul industry. The startup is headquartered in Chicago, US.

Abtin Hamidi believes that rising consumer expectations call for faster deliveries and inventory positioned closer to consumers. Therefore, the complicated short-haul freight cannot be trusted to long-haul brokers. Torch provides purpose-built tools developed to address the specific challenges of the freight market.

Services provided by Torch –

1. Short-haul specialist: Dedicated network of short haul carriers. Get instant access to hard-to-find capacity.

2. Drayage: Connect directly with hundreds of drayage carriers to bring instant rates and availability to clients.

3. Projects: Tackles complicated, time-sensitive project freight with instant and actionable insights.

What the CEO has to say: “The pandemic has accelerated the already growing demand for reliable short-haul capacity, and stretched the boundaries of supply chain networks. Over the past decade, the average length of haul has decreased by more than 30% due to e-commerce and the dynamics of retail, CPG and other shippers. The majority of the truckload transactions are now considered short-haul, yet there are very few reliable, consistent options for shippers that are founded in digital principles.” — Torch CEO and Founder Abtin Hamidi.

What the investors have to say: “Torch has quickly become the platform of choice for several shippers and carriers. Torch provides shippers with more efficient load placement, higher service levels, and better pricing with trusted carriers, and offers carriers a consistent, high volume of loads from quality shippers to maximize asset utilization within their region.” — Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Partner at Maersk Growth.

“While most supply chain networks have evolved to meet the demands of modern e-commerce, shippers still struggle to find consistent and efficient carriers for short-haul loads. Traditional brokers have had difficulty with the category given the idiosyncrasies and historical infrequency of short-haul transportation. Abtin saw an opportunity to fill the gap between shipper needs and broker ability. We’re excited to lead Torch’s seed round and partner with a great entrepreneur building the future of short-haul technology.” — Julian Counihan, Partner at Schematic Ventures.

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Komal writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. She is an Economics Hons. graduate from Miranda House, Delhi University, and is passionate about the world of entrepreneurship and finance.


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