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Jeff Bezos invests in British tech logistics start-up Beacon

Founded in 2018, Beacon has raised $15m in a funding round so far

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has invested in a British start-up that seeks to use digital technology to disrupt the global logistics industry.

Founded in 2018, Beacon has raised $15m (£12m, €13m) in a funding round with current investors who include Uber founder Travis Kalanick and former Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

The group, founded by former Uber executives Fraser Robinson and Dmitri Izmailov, combines supply chain finance with technology to find the most cost-effective shipping routes for cargo. 

Bezos was the second-largest investor in the round after US venture capital firm 8VC, which is said to value the UK business at close to $60m. 

Beacon uses real-time data to track cargo, as well as a marketplace service that allows it to view shipping costs and prices, overlaid by an algorithm that suggests the best routes to take. 

The company will use the latest investment round to expand its team of 50, in order expand its customer base. 

Robinson previously led Uber’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while Izmailov, its operations chief, previously ran Uber’s business in Russia. 

The company’s chief technology officer, Pierre Martin, is a former head of engineering in Amazon’s logistics business. 

FURTHER READING: Amazon US to hire 100,000 workers amidst coronavirus worries

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