Hot off the heels of Emerge’s recent $130M Series B funding announcement, the company is pleased to continue its meteoric rise by welcoming George Abernathy as the new President of Emerge. Abernathy, an industry veteran joins Emerge after leading FreightWaves as their President and Chief Commercial Officer.
Abernathy brings a wealth of industry knowledge to Emerge. In addition to his tenure at FreightWaves, he is the former President of Transplace, a leading provider of non-asset-based third-party logistics and truck brokerage services. He also held the COO role and was a key contributor in the company’s sale to Greenbriar Equity Partners in 2013. George has more than 30 years of supply chain and transportation industry leadership experience with carrier, broker, and technology companies. Previously, he held senior management positions at J.B. Hunt, Logistics.com, Sabre, and North American Van Lines.
“I’m very excited to join the Emerge team. Together with Michael and Andrew [Leto] and the Board of Directors’ wealth of experience, we are positioned for transformative growth as we become the leading platform for freight procurement for the country’s largest shippers and carriers. Emerge’s rapid growth and financial success is proof that the product and team are all aligned to great goals in the near term.”
Emerge Continues to Differentiate
George’s arrival marks a new chapter in the Emerge story. Founded in 2017, and located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Emerge is one of the fastest-growing technology startups in the U.S. What started with Andrew Leto’s vision to create a community where shippers and carriers can transact in a real-time ecosystem has evolved to meet the needs of the country’s largest freight shippers. With the introduction of the signature Dynamic RFP technology in early 2021, Emerge is poised to bring efficiency to the complicated, sometimes convoluted, and often archaic, contract freight market.
By replacing spreadsheets and emails with automated, AI-driven intelligence, the Dynamic RFP platform helps shippers take complicated RFPs and simplifies execution down to a matter of days instead of months. This efficiency, paired with the active digital spot marketplace and robust partner connections make it the ideal solution for freight shippers of all sizes.
The product differentiation also excited new investor partners 9Yards, Tiger Global, and The Spruce House Partnership, leading to the announcement in September of $130M in Series B investment funding.
“We’ve been fortunate to experience explosive growth in the past few years, and this funding will be very useful to Emerge’s future success. It’s no small task and will take a lot of collaboration, but our ultimate goal is to enhance how the industry operates for everyone involved,” Founder and Co-CEO, Michael Leto said. “We are looking forward to continually evolving our cloud-based procurement software to create the most sophisticated freight solution in the country.”
Abernathy Plans to Scale Emerge’s Customer Base
Emerge plans to significantly grow its team in 2022, with over 200 new employment opportunities opening in enterprise sales, R&D, product, marketing, and operations. For George, expanding the Sales & Marketing organization is the first priority.
“We plan to expand our Enterprise Sales team to about 30 individuals in a short time,” said Abernathy in a recent interview. “With our continued success with existing customers such as Aldi and DHL, it’s clear that the demand for improving efficiency in the RFP process, specifically in the freight industry, is needed. Products like Coupa and Jaggaer fall short of understanding the nuances of contract freight, and that’s where Emerge really shines.”
In addition to growing the Enterprise Sales organization, Abernathy sees the opportunity in amplifying Emerge’s marketing initiatives. Leveraging his previous expertise bringing FreightWaves to the forefront of industry news, Abernathy plans to help Emerge continue to differentiate itself as a thought leader in the Freight Technology space. And the team is excited.
“Bringing George onto the team at Emerge is a perfect fit,” said Brielle Patterson, Director of Brand Marketing at Emerge. “Pairing our technical expertise with George’s vast industry experience can help us improve the customer experience across our funnel so we can continue to surprise and delight shippers of all sizes.”
The Next Steps? Business as Usual
While the entrance of any new Executive to a growing organization can be jarring at first, the Emerge team has another interesting advantage that helps ease the transition; Abernathy is already a familiar face around the Emerge office as a member of its Board of Directors.
“Let’s Go!” is a common phrase around the office and one deployed frequently by CEO Michael Leto. For Leto, adding George is another milestone in an already bright future for Emerge. For now, though, it’s time to get down to business.
“We have the best talent, world-class tech and we have a wonderful workplace culture. And now with George, we have a leader who is poised to take us to the next level. So, it’s time to get our hands dirty and get to work.”