Supply chain integration startup Switchboard delivers $1.5 million raise

- June 12, 2024 2 MIN READ
Hugh Dixson
Switchboard founder and CEO Hugh Dixson

Supply chain integration platform Switchboard has raised $1.5 million from a consortium of early-stage VCs to digitise logistics.

The Sydney startup was backed by Archangel, AfterWork, Investible, Skalata, Startmate, TEN13, and The Fund.

Founder and CEO Hugh Dixson launched Switchboard in August 2022, having previously worked at road freight backfill startup Ofload in M&A, setting up the deal to acquire CIA Logistics and prior to that, Uber, having started his career at Boston Consulting Group.

That gave him a firsthand understanding of how supply chain data is stored across multiple and often outdated systems.

Dixson said that while most industries quickly digitised during the pandemic, the supply chain industry has been slow to adapt, but is now gathering pace with the AI logistics market predicted to jump from $1.7 billion in 2018 to $12 billion by 2027.

“The vitality of supply chains is on the rise. While we’re going through an era of immense change within an industry that’s overdue for updating, the core themes that make the supply chain such a dynamic industry will continue,” he said.

“Fast-paced businesses often allow manual processes to reign supreme – taking calls and scribbling down notes, then catching up on emails and systems later. Even with the best of intentions, operational efficiency is always compromised.”

The gap in the market Dixson spotted was how the high costs of integrating IT systems priced out small and mid-sized players in favour of larger incumbents.

He designed Switchboard to be accessible for companies at all stages to address truckload optimisation and reduce cost per consignment and staffing costs, as well as delivering more precise demand forecasts, automating communication between customers, suppliers, logistics providers, and other trading partners.

“As little as a 5% reduction in supply chain costs can double net profits for these organisations,” Dixson said.

“Our long-term vision is to become the ‘system of record’ for the global supply chain – using our proprietary data set to create further products. This funding will enable us to accelerate product development, and broaden our reach across new markets.”

Switchboard has seen rapid traction across the manufacturing, retail, and food & beverage sectors.

Skalata investment director Tom Smalley sees a significant market opportunity

“Leveraging its foundation as a digital infrastructure player, Switchboard presents clear avenues into data, network, and financial ancillaries,” he said.

“We look forward to working with Hugh and Switchboard as they grow customer numbers, increase share of wallet, and expand their global-from-day-one presence.”