Leaf Logistics Raises $37M for its Transportation Planning Platform and Marketplace That Makes Shipping Seamless


Proactive transportation planning helps companies meet order deadlines and minimize transportation risk.  However, most logistics departments and shippers traditionally have limited visibility into their capacity and needs beyond a few days with two parties rarely communicating with each other until a shipment is ready.  Leaf Logistics is a supply chain planning platform that connects shippers, carriers, and partners to bring unprecedented visibility into shipping schedules and capacity so that all parties can make informed and critical decisions. Using machine learning and data analytics, Leaf is able to optimize transportation plans for both shippers and carriers.  The platform also serves as a marketplace allowing shippers to contract with providers, providing certainty, in pricing and scheduling, for shipments while providing normalized and predictable revenue for carriers.  It’s estimated that 30% of trucks on the road ride empty and the use of Leaf Flex and Leaf Adapt, the company’s signature products, allows shippers and carriers to minimize these empty hauls, leading to a reduction in the environmental impact of the industry as well. Leaf grew annual revenue 10x in 2021.

AlleyWatch caught up with Leaf Logistics CEO and Cofounder Anshu Prasad to learn more about how the platform has helped ensure supply chains remain resilient during the pandemic, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $64M, and much, much more…

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

Series B $37M. Sozo Ventures led, with participation from Madrona Venture Group, as well as previous investors including Playground Global, Floodgate, Schematic Ventures, and Supply Chain Ventures. The founding teams at Flexport and The Intercontinental Exchange also joined.

Tell us about the product or service that Leaf Logistics offers.

The Leaf network is built with data from more than 400 shippers, giving an industry-wide view of the transportation market. Using our Adapt technology, shippers gain a unique forward-looking view so they can better anticipate their transportation needs and have a more resilient plan in place to withstand supply chain disruptions. Shippers who’ve worked with us have been able to navigate the uncertainty of the supply chain in recent years, keeping their transportation costs in control while still delivering great service to their customers. Leaf Flex contracts help shippers and carriers lock-in committed contracted work at a fixed price for months at a time. This gives more predictability to the industry and allows carriers to plan with certainty around driver schedules and asset utilization. For shippers, Leaf Flex contracts give them peace of mind with guaranteed coverage at a known rate.

What inspired the start of Leaf Logistics?

Leaf was started by a group of logistics industry veterans who worked with household name shippers to manage their annual transportation contracting process. We saw firsthand the shortcomings of the annual transportation planning and contracting processes. We identified an opportunity to bring more precision and network coordination to industry, but the tools to do so didn’t exist, so we built them with Leaf.

How is Leaf Logistics different?

Leaf is the only company that is building a neutral network that reaches across the entire transportation industry. Today the industry is composed of a set of silos – each shipper and carrier only seeing the demand and supply within their existing network, which leads to immense waste in the industry in the form of empty trucks riding on the roads with no loaded freight. Leaf’s unique industry-wide view breaks down those silos and uses Leaf Adapt optimization technology to see and contract this excess capacity. This dramatically reduces the number of empty miles driven by trucks and lowers shippers’ costs, allows carriers to generate more revenue, and removes unnecessary CO2 emissions from our environment.

Additionally, Leaf is the only provider offering forward committed contracted capabilities through our Leaf Flex solution. Leaf Flex gives shippers peace of mind in knowing that their freight will get to their customers at a locked-in rate, while carriers are able to lock in favorable routes for their drivers and maximize their asset utilization.

What market does Leaf Logistics target and how big is it?

Leaf is building a more transparent industry-wide network for shippers, carriers, brokers, and other partners. The industry-wide network reveals exponentially more opportunities for network coordination, and when all these parties coordinate across the Leaf platform, over $200B in efficiencies can be identified in this $1 Trillion industry.

What’s your business model?

We charge a subscription for Adapt and a transactional fee for any loads we help contract through our Flex program.

What are your post-COVID office plans??

We’ve reopened office space that allows small groups of us to huddle as needed. We’ll continue to support a virtual team, as we did prior to the pandemic, and gather periodically to bond and strategize.

We will be expanding our office footprint in New York, and opening huddle spaces in Chicago and Atlanta in the next year.

What was the funding process like?

Interesting. We met great people who are enthusiastic about the need for transformation in our industry. Without the pressure of having to raise right away, we were able to build relationships with our investors and the individuals we’ll be working with most closely.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Our industry is complex, and we have deep domain knowledge. We often found ourselves diving deep into industry dynamics to help explain our plans in detail.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

Transportation is one of the 2-3 largest expenses for corporations but it remains one of the only business areas where executives have no way to forecast budgets with precision due to the tools on hand and the way that the transportation industry operates today. Our investors saw the big opportunity in the transportation industry to offer more certainty in the way business is done and have partnered with us on our vision to transform the industry and offer a more reliable and resilient future through our industry-wide network and forward planning capabilities.

Transportation is one of the 2-3 largest expenses for corporations but it remains one of the only business areas where executives have no way to forecast budgets with precision due to the tools on hand and the way that the transportation industry operates today. Our investors saw the big opportunity in the transportation industry to offer more certainty in the way business is done and have partnered with us on our vision to transform the industry and offer a more reliable and resilient future through our industry-wide network and forward planning capabilities.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

We plan to double the size of our team so we can continue to scale product development and commercial deployment. Our targets are to more than triple our revenues in the next year, and to enhance profitability based on the unprecedented efficiency we’re able to deliver.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Stay focused on the work. It’s the trust you establish with your customers that drives the success of your business. Funding follows success, and allows for replication and scaling. Fundraising should be secondary to working on the business.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

We’ve seen great traction already at the start of 2022 that confirms our vision for a more reliable transportation industry, but it also means that there’s even more work to be done. In the next year, we’ll continue to grow and stay focused on building the products to help realize our vision for the industry.

What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?

We love the Odeon. But we also have our favorite neighborhood Halal carts and hot dog vendors.


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