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Nowports, the Mexican startup for international logistics, joins Y-Combinator’s W19 batch

ContxtoNowports, the sprouting Mexican startup that aims to transform the freights and shipping industry, joins Y-Combinator’s 2019 Winter batch. Additionally, it landed a US$150,000 investment from the famous Silicon Valley accelerator to jumpstart operations.

Nowports is revolutionizing the forwarding industry in Latin America. They intend to follow the successful model of Flexport, which managed to change the industry in the US, and other main trading economies.

What is Nowports?

Nowports is a logistics and trade services platform that offers detailed and complete information about cargos.

It can track loads in real time and help improve the movement of the container. Through their platform, all parties can communicate at any time in a simple and quick manner to avoid inconveniences.

The startup allows businesses to organize their information so that moving a container from point A to point B is safe, easy and efficient.

Companies can ask for quotations and tariffs, register providers and products to be shipped, as well as reserve embarkations from any port in the world.

Their AI-powered chatbot provides shipping tariffs in real time through Facebook Messenger.

How did it start?

Alfonso De Los Ríos from Mexico and Max Casal from Uruguay, developed their interest in coding when they were quite young. They both met in a Stanford University’s summer camp, and since then they set their mind to start a business together.

Alfonso’s family had been involved in the logistics business since long ago, and that’s how he identified a big market opportunity.

Consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated. The rise of e-commerce has shaped the way we consume products – and for that matter, the way we transport items – across the globe. In addition, 90 percent of the goods we consume on a daily basis are being transported by either ship or plane.

Unfortunately, the people in charge fo transporting these goods are not that tech savvy, they still use faxes and brick-sized cellular phones.

How come this massive industry is still lagging in technology adoption? How’s it possible that their office space looks exactly the same nowadays than it did back in 1950?

State of the market

I’m dropping some insane facts about the industry.

According to the article Max Casal wrote on Buzzfeed, the industry has not evolved the last 100 years, apart from the implementation of shipment containers.

The way most import-export trades are arranged is through email and phone, this can lead to human mistakes, miscommunication and ultimately delays. Needless to say that one out of two embarkations suffer delays or they get off-track.

One container can get 300 emails between the freight provider and the shipper. We reduce the mistakes to zero and processing documentation three times faster than a normal freight provider in Latin America,

Alfonso De Los Ríos, Nowports’ CEO & Co-founder

There are very few digital tools where all participants can visualize and map out the status of their embarkations and the port in which the course is being made. Nowports aims to be that platform.

The startup facilitates organization, communication and real-time chatting between the buy and sell-side. Their algorithm presumably reduces human mistakes to 0 percent and reduces 40 percent of the delays.

What’s next?

One month ago, back when TechCrunch’s article was written, the company already had four big clients, which transacted over 60 monthly cargos. Currently operating in Monterrey, they have also opened offices in Santiago, Chile and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Their goal is to ship over 100,000 containers through their platform during 2019.

– VC

Victor Cortéshttps://www.contxto.com/
CEO & Co-Founder of Contxto. Passionate about tech, startups and venture capital. I eat sushi five times a week.

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