BlueGrace Logistics Announces $255 Million Investment from Warburg Pincus
BlueGrace Logistics, a privately held third-party logistics (3PL) provider based in Tampa, Florida, announced this week that funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm, have agreed to make a minority investment of growth capital and additional funds available for strategic acquisitions. The total commitment by Warburg Pincus is $255 million. BlueGrace intends to use the funding to fuel the rapid growth of the business, including hiring 500 to 700 new employees, accelerating its national expansion plans and pursuing strategic acquisitions.
BlueGrace is presently building out the remainder of its 55,000 square feet of headquarters space in Riverview, Florida, and is scouting for more space across Tampa Bay. BlueGrace expects to significantly increase employment in Tampa, Chicago, Boston, and other markets.
“This investment will give a major shot of adrenaline to our already fast-growing operations,” said BlueGrace President and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Harris. “We’re helping customers transform their shipping across the country. And for me, it’s especially gratifying to see more and more employees come into the company.”
Founded in 2009, BlueGrace has developed a proprietary software platform that provides customers who need to ship goods with multiple offers from trucking companies. BlueGrace tracks the shipments, costs, routes and timing, and then provides customers with detailed data about where they can save money. BlueGrace can often save millions of dollars for a client, while providing unprecedented transparency into what’s often a major expense for a company – freight.
BlueGrace works with more than 10,000 companies nationwide that make everything from auto parts and beauty products to pharmaceuticals and sporting goods.
“Warburg Pincus has been a long-term investor in the technology-enabled logistics market and BlueGrace is a rapidly growing innovator in that industry,” commented Alex Berzofsky, managing director at Warburg Pincus. “We see meaningful opportunities for continued growth for the company.”
Through Warburg Pincus, BlueGrace received a combination of committed capital and direct investments of $255 million.
Harris founded BlueGrace in January 2009 and the company has grown rapidly ever since. Last summer, BlueGrace employed about 170 people and announced plans to add 100 new employees, but has already “significantly exceeded that,” Harris said. BlueGrace now employs more than 370 nationally and the company will likely employ more than 1,000 people in the next several years through a combination of organic expansion and acquisitions.
This year, BlueGrace bought more than two dozen of its franchise locations across the country, and the company is rapidly expanding in new markets, with employment in the Chicago and Boston and Los Angeles.