Market Overview

Digital Payment Startup Raises $43M

Digital Payment Startup Raises $43M

​Relay Payments, an electronic payment platform for logistics companies, has raised $43 million over the last six months as it seeks to digitize an industry that has long relied on checks and cash.

Addition, a $1.3 billion fund that invests in early- and growth-stage companies, led the Series A and Series B funding rounds, with participation from investment firms Ribbit Capital and Spark Capital.

Relay works with players across the supply chain — shippers, brokers, carriers, drivers and warehouses — to provide a more efficient end-to-end electronic solution, co-founder and CEO Ryan Droege told FreightWaves. 

Existing paper- and phone-based processes are time consuming and error prone, he noted. Fleet managers have to manage all the payments drivers make while on the road, with the driver in many cases paying with fleet checks or cash requiring reimbursement. 

Relay takes a more secure and controlled approach to pay these vendors, Droege said, providing an electronic payment solution that ensures a fraud-proof, auditable transaction record.

"It's a much more time-efficient way of doing the payments," he added, "giving  carriers and companies back hours of service and getting drivers back on the road to go onto the next stop."

Prior to launching Relay in 2019, Droege and president Spencer Barkoff co-founded another digital payments platform, RoadSync, which provides payment processing for truck drivers, carriers and brokers.

Droege declined to comment on the differences between the two companies.

But his newest venture is on a growth tear. Relay claimed four employees at the start of 2020 and today employs more than 40 people who work remotely around the country.

Fueled by interest in contactless solutions during the coronavirus pandemic, the startup currently processes more than 150,000 transactions every month, totaling over $300 million in volume annually. 

Relay's rapid growth explains why it was able to raise a Series B round so close to its Series A, Droege explained. The company raised $7.7 million in July, followed by $35.3 million Dec. 3.

The funding will be used primarily for developing new products and hiring employees, as well as a new headquarters in Atlanta.


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