But don’t take our word for it. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is leading a $1 billion funding round in logistics startup Flexport at a very sexy valuation of $3.2 billion, per Forbes.
What Flexport does: Uses software—and physical assets like warehouses—to help companies transport goods. In industry lingo, it’s known as a “freight forwarder.”
And SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son doesn’t write massive checks to just anyone (okay...he kinda does), so what’s special about Flexport?
Disruption: Flexport is bringing modern tech to an ancient industry, where vets use a combo of email, phone, and spreadsheets to track complex supply chains. Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen told Forbes, “Of the top 100 freight forwarders, we are the only one founded after Netscape.”
A kindred spirit: Petersen jives with Masa’s long-term approach (that 300-year plan tho) and his ability to help startups scale.
Bottom line: Forbes reports Flexport’s 2018 revenue was $471 million, and with logistics and transportation accounting for ~7.5% of U.S. GDP, there’s a lot more up for grabs.
Trump outlined a very high-tech ambition: challenging U.S. companies to go beyond 5G network technology to...6G tech.
FYI, wireless carriers around the world are gunning to get 5G to market first. AT&T launched 5G in 12 cities last year. And Verizon announced plans to launch in 30 cities by year-end.
But the real challenge to U.S. carriers isn’t each other. Major Chinese telecom Huawei is leading the pack in 5G (and looks poised to start on its own 6G soon).
Remember, the Trump administration has urged U.S. firms and allies to avoid Huawei tech in their 5G rollouts, alleging it could be spying for the Chinese government.
The U.S. is having trouble convincing those allies.
But Trump could be adopting a new tone. He made no mention of Huawei on Twitter yesterday, opting for a competitive spirit over “blocking out” rivals (as was the M.O. before).
Bottom line: Some have taken Trump’s Huawei omission as an olive branch. And with trade talks dragging on, the president could be looking to soften up Beijing.