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We’re kicking off this week with a bit of Russian investment news Gruzobzor, a Russian startup which acts as a real-time market and cloud-based document management solution for the shipping industry, has raised $1 million (747,000 euro) from Runa Capital, one of the leading venture firms in the region and other investors including startup founders. According to a press release from Runa, the funds will be directed towards helping Gruzobzor to further develop and market its service.
Gruzobzor is a startup which attempts to simplify the shipping process by offering a place where companies can place orders for trucks and offer their trucks for use, and process transactions online. As companies use the service to ship their product, they can rate the service of the companies they hire. This rating system should allow for shipping companies to gain credibility on the site and should help to weed out unreliable shippers. Companies looking to ship can also add shipping companies to “black list”, which means that they won’t appear in further search results. It’s free to post a request for a truck or an available truck, but Gruzobzor does offer paid services.
According to the CEO of the company, Zagir Rashitov, Gruzobzor’s aim is to improve the facilitation of transactions between companies looking to ship and shipping companies themselves. In providing a cloud-based service, Gruzobzor claims that it eases the transaction process by allowing companies to more quickly and easily connect by removing the need for phone calls, faxes, and other measures typically involved in closing a deal. According to Rashitov, taking everything to the cloud will allow companies on both sides to save money and time in the long-run.
Per the original article, the number of companies using Gruzobzor currently totals 36,000. The company’s website is solely in Russian, which would indicate that they are currently focused upon Russian-speaking countries. I’m not particularly familiar with the shipping industry in Russia, but I was able to find a number of competitors by doing a search. Perevezi, TimoCom, CargoGeo, Gruzperevoz, Vird, and Avto Dispetcher are services which allow companies in the Russian market to order trucks as their needs require but the core value proposition of Gruzobzor is to simplify the transaction processing that Runa appears to be backing.
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