FourKites, a Chicago Startup Helping Shippers Track Trucks Smarter, Raises $1.25M

June 3, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

Chicago startup FourKites, a 3-year-old logistics platform for truck tracking and a graduate of the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows program, announced Wednesday that it has raised a $1.25 million seed round.

FourKites says it will use the funding to grow its team and roll out new product lines. The seed round was led by Hyde Park Venture Partners, with participation from Hyde Park Angels, Harvard Business School Angels, Bluestein & Associates and Otter Consulting.

FourKites’ platform pinpoints truck positions on maps and provides other real-time data for shippers and logistics providers. Even with smartphones and access to GPS, trucking companies today don’t have effective ways of communicating with and tracking their trucks. Through its cloud-based platform, FourKites allows companies to monitor the exact location of trucks using Electronic Logging Devices, eliminating the need for drivers to call or text dispatchers.

“There is a huge pain point in the trucking industry and FourKites has solved it,” Ira Weiss, partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners, said in a statement. “Traditional logistics tracking and communication systems are labor intensive and extremely reactive. As transparency and real-time visibility become increasingly important in the logistics industry, FourKites is leading the way by integrating tracking data from over 90% of the nation’s largest ELD/GPS manufacturers to get real-time data on truck location.”

FourKites says its platform results in fewer phone calls, reduced loading and unloading times, and streamlined distribution center operations. The startup graduated in 2013 from the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows, a program that provides funding and resources to student entrepreneurs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Noted founder Mathew Elenjickal, a 2014 Kellogg gradiate: “Pritzker Group played a critical role by refining our go-to market strategy and introducing us to several Fortune 100 companies who provided invaluable feedback by piloting our platform.”

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