London-based freight forwarding and supply chain finance company Beacon has attracted funding from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The start-up, launched in 2018 by two former Uber executives, has raised over $15m (£12m) in its first funding round, attracting heavyweight investors which include Jeff Bezos, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and US venture capital firm 8VC.

Beacon aims to disrupt the freight forwarding industry which it says is a “highly fragmented” market, in which the top ten forwarders globally control just 43%.

The company also sees an opportunity to capture more of the market from traditional freight forwarders as the Covid-19 pandemic drives increased demand for more digitalised services.

In a statement announcing the progress of its funding round the company added: “Many of the logistics incumbents have been slow to digitise, and with fewer than 30% of shippers being satisfied with the customer service they receive, the industry is ripe for disruption.

“Beacon already has an established customer base and is growing rapidly, with a mission to become a global leader in logistics and supply chain finance by making trade simpler, more transparent and more reliable for businesses.”

The company offers a range of services, including global ocean, air and truck freight, together with supply chain finance.

It also boasts the ability to unlock “significant” operational efficiencies using “best-in-class” technology.

Beacon said its supply chain finance can also offer customers financing within 72 hours.

Beacon co-founder and chief executive Fraser Robinson said: “The traditional freight forwarder model remains surprisingly analogue, using systems and processes that are slow and inefficient, with opaque pricing and limited use of technology.

“Our goal is to disrupt the trillion-dollar freight forwarder market by vastly improving the experience for importers and exporters with a more transparent and smarter shipping product.

“We also believe that our ability to offer supply chain finance can be transformative for our customers by allowing them to better control and manage their cash flow.

“We have built a team with deep expertise in technology, logistics and finance in a short period of time – these new funds will enable us to continue to strengthen that team and invest in our technology, while also increasing our international presence.

“With digitalisation accelerating globally as a result of Covid-19, we believe the future of the traditional freight forwarder is more precarious than ever. Shippers are seeking technology-led products and services that will meet their needs more effectively, enhance their experience and cut their costs. We look forward to meeting that demand.”