June 8, 2023

Onward Delivery Raises $4.7M to Fix Driver Shortage and Expedite Final-Mile Delivery

Oversubscribed seed round led by Range Ventures and Matchstick Ventures will fund the automation of final-mile delivery. 

Denver, CO., December 8, 2021 - Onward Delivery, a freight marketplace that connects retail stores to underutilized trucks already on the road, today announced it has closed an oversubscribed $4.7 million seed funding round, led by Range Ventures and Matchstick Ventures and includes follow-on investments from Springtime Ventures and others. 

This round also includes participation from angel investors including Andrew Leto, Founder & CEO of Emerge, Jett McCandless, Founder and CEO of Project44, Sean Henry, Founder & CEO of STORD, James Eberhard, Founder & CEO of Fluid Truck, Mark Joseph, Board Member at Rubicon, and Leo Polvoes, General Partner at Susa Ventures, among others. 

“With the ongoing driver shortage and supply chain issues, there is a dire need to automate and digitize final mile delivery.” said Grafton Elliott, CEO of Onward Delivery. “Our technology connects retailers to unused cargo space already on the road, making drivers more efficient. With the completion of our seed round, we are excited to have the support to build out our operations to fix one of the biggest crises of our time.” 

Onward Delivery was founded in 2020 after its founders experienced the inefficiencies in freight brokerage firsthand working in the industry. On average, it takes nearly 35 days to ship a customer any large appliance or piece of furniture since many retail stores rely solely on a single delivery company in each market. This market fragmentation has resulted in underutilized box trucks, revealing a significant opportunity for Onward to automate final-mile delivery and expedite the time between order and delivery to next day.

Onward’s platform allows shippers to place shipments to its load board where it is then instantly priced and smart-matched to a truck already headed in the same direction. Onward’s platform streamlines a historically archaic industry by digitizing documents and processes along the final-mile journey, enabling truck drivers to complete more deliveries in less time. Onward’s auto scheduling feature removes the burden of extensive communications between drivers, customers and shippers with one click. 

“We believe Onward Delivery is well-positioned to innovate an industry that has been historically under invested in” said Nathaniel Zola, Managing Member at Matchstick Ventures. “At a moment when everyone is talking about the need to solve supply chain challenges, Matchstick is looking forward to watching Onward bring its final-mile delivery solution to more markets across the country.”

Backed by Techstars, Onward partners with 75 retail stores across six states and is actively looking to forge new partnerships with retailers and expand into more markets across the country. Some of Onward’s retail partners include Slumberland Furniture, Bassett Furniture, Woodley's Fine Furniture, Element Home and The Tile Shop.  Today, Onward operates in Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Georgia, Kansas and Missouri.

“It is clear that solutions based in automation and digitization are needed to address the supply chain crisis. We are proud to be a lead investor of the seed round for an efficient and environmentally friendly approach to final-mile delivery and have great confidence in Grafton and the Onward team to execute on this significant opportunity,” said Adam Burrows, Managing Director at Range Ventures.

As Onward looks to the future, it plans to expand its operations to Texas, California, Florida and Wisconsin over the next year. This funding will be allocated to hiring engineers to further build out Onward’s SaaS platform and strengthen the marketplace, with an eye on integrations to make placing shipments a one click process. Additionally, Onward is focused on aggressively building out its sales team with the goal of entering a total of 15 markets by the end of 2022.

About Onward Delivery

Onward Delivery is a freight marketplace that connects retail stores selling heavy furniture and appliances to underutilized trucks already on the road. Onward’s freight marketplace can be adapted to meet the individual needs of any shipper, retailer or customer . Onward’s technology simplifies the entire delivery process, while streamlining communication and simultaneously reducing both rates and emissions. For more information about Onward, please visit us at https://www.onwarddelivery.com.  

About Range Ventures

Range Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund in Denver focused on making pre-seed and seed investments in Denver, Boulder and the entire Colorado ecosystem. We commit early (often the first institutional check) and as former operators we know the challenges entrepreneurs face and support our founders and their teams in every way possible.

About Matchstick Ventures

Matchstick helps startups strike. We are a pre-seed and seed stage venture capital fund, investing in the most ambitious tech founders with connections to the Rockies or North regions. In addition to investing capital, we connect our founders to a network of hundreds of experts, startup founders, co-investors, and leaders to help them solve problems, make connections and access resources. Our goal is to be the most impactful investors for our founders, our partners, and our startup communities.

Media Contact

Grafton Elliott


Interested in working for Onward? See open roles here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/onward-delivery/jobs/