Yes Virginia, There Is Venture Capital

Some companies can still mine VC gold.

Overland Park, KS -- December 11, 2000 -- BUSINESS WIRE -- Transportation and logistics provider has secured $7 million in second-round financing from a group that includes previous backers as well as new investors, despite the downdraft in the Internet economy and a continued contraction in available venture capital.

Jim Bramlett, president of freightPro, said the funds will be used to support information technology development, marketing and brand-recognition efforts, as well as for general working capital. Although the dot-com market has cooled, using the Internet to reinvent freight transportation and fulfillment remains an extremely compelling business proposition, Bramlett said. Our new and existing partners understand the value of what we're doing, and we're excited about working with them to grow the company to its full potential. is an 18-month-old freight transportation and fulfillment company that offers customers an alternative to traditional, less-than-truckload shipping by integrating both warehousing and transportation in a seamless Internet-based solution.

New freightPro investors include White Pines Ventures LLC, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based venture firm with more than $90 million in invested and available capital; Gazelle TechVentures, an Indianapolis-based VC firm that focuses primarily on technology companies; and Kansas Venture Capital Inc., a $50 million, 30-year-old fund based in Overland Park, Kan.

There are huge opportunities in the logistics industry for new entrants, and we're excited about freightPro's prospects, said Tony Grover, vice president with White Pines. They have developed a unique approach to delivering freight and shipping services and have shown very positive results to date.

Added Marshall Parker, executive vice president with Kansas Venture Capital Inc., Kansas City is a major transportation center, and we saw an opportunity to back people who have been in that industry a long time. The management team is hard-working, smart and has a tremendous amount of experience in the industry.

Also participating in the second financing round were Kansas City Equity Partners and MidStates Capital, L.P. KCEP led the $3 million first round during's initial financing in January 2000 and were supported by MidStates Capital L.P. and a private investment group.

Tom Palmer, managing director of Kansas City Equity Partners, said he was pleased that the company had reached its development milestones this year. Of freightPro's business model, Palmer said, We like the fact that they're a solutions provider, not a broker. That's a big difference in the eyes of the customer.

Pat McKinney, freightPro's chief financial officer, said the company's ability to attract investment capital in the face of a deteriorating venture capital climate underscores the viability and potential of freightPro's business model.

freightPro aims to change freight transportation by abandoning the old-fashioned and confusing rate schedule that most shippers have adhered to for decades. Instead, the company prices shipments via the Internet based solely on shipment size and destination.

The company also relies on the Internet to communicate with a network of more than 300 trucking company partners. Using this approach, the company has avoided the necessity of acquiring its own fleet and bypassed the enormous capital costs that most shipping firms face. Currently, freightPro is handling more than 150 shipments daily to all 50 states through 14 warehouses and 300 contract carriers.