Navegate Logistics Secures Investment to Fuel Future Growth

Navegate Logistics, Inc., a tech-forward third-party logistics (3PL) provider, is announcing that it has been recapitalized by Chicago-based Saltspring Capital LLC. Nathan Dey, Saltspring’s Managing Partner, will be joining the Navegate team as CEO and Chairman.

“Navegate presents an amazing opportunity to grow and build on a rich 50 years of logistics history,” said Dey. “This industry is going through a tremendous digitization, and the steps Navegate has proactively taken to position themselves to succeed in the future made the investment very compelling.” The remainder of the company’s existing leadership team, including Joe Pelletier, President, will continue with the company. Chad Bickett, formerly VP of Strategic Initiatives, will also become COO with the transition.

The investment validates and supports Navegate’s plans to build on its existing success as a leader in delivering clients unprecedented supply chain visibility, flexibility and vendor integration. Furthermore, it will continue to grow the company’s business network on both the International and Domestic fronts.

Already a leader in modernizing the logistics industry—consistently making Inbound Logistic’s Top 100 List of IT Providers—Navegate’s long-term vision is to become a one-stop, global trade portal where customers can quote, book and track shipments worldwide.

As a strategic and operationally focused investor, Saltspring brings a strong foundational knowledge in global logistics and a deep bench of partners to accelerate Navegate’s growth. Next Coast Ventures, Relay Investments and the Operand Group also participated in the financing round.

“We are thrilled to be backing an innovative company in Minneapolis—freight forwarding is a massive industry that is ripe for disruption, and Navegate’s product is a prime example of how a full-stack business model can fundamentally change the way a fragmented industry like freight logistics operates,” said Michael Smerklo, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. “We have no doubt that Nathan and Navegate leadership’s deep domain expertise will be the team to scale this incredible platform, and we are so excited to be a part of the next phase of Navegate’s journey alongside a strong group of syndicate partners.”

About Navegate

Navegate offers traditional services such as freight forwarding, customs brokerage and domestic transportation along with innovative, cloud-based software and a best-in-class vendor portal platform.

As part of the investment, Navegate’s asset-based trucking division has been spun off and will be operated as a separate business based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Navegate will keep its headquarters in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, and also maintain its offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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About Saltspring Capital

Saltspring Capital was formed by Nathan Dey in 2016 with the objective of purchasing a single company. A unique twist on private equity, a search fund leverages a network of institutionalized funds, seasoned investment professionals and high net worth individuals to back an entrepreneur in their search for a Company to recapitalize and optimize for future growth. For more information on Saltspring Capital, visit

About Next Coast Ventures

Next Coast Ventures is an Austin venture capital firm that partners with bold entrepreneurs building innovative companies in big markets. It provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in ‘Next Coast’ markets, using macro trends and themes to guide their investment strategy. In partnering with Next Coast, the fund provides hands-on company building resources to its growing portfolio through its strong industry network, venture partner program and the founders’ own experiences as entrepreneurs. Learn more at

About Relay Investments

Relay Investments is a Boston-based firm focused exclusively on investing in search funds and their operating company acquisitions. The firm takes a global approach to search fund investing, and its portfolio spans 19 countries and 22 U.S. states. As an institutional partner, Relay provides deep industry expertise and financial acumen gained from hundreds of successful search fund transactions. The firm was founded by Sandro Mina and Martin Steber in 2013, who launched their own search funds in 1991 after graduating from the Stanford GSB. They successfully acquired, operated, and exited three businesses, and have been investing in the search fund asset class ever since. Learn more at

About Operand Group

The Operand Group is a private equity platform specializing in supporting entrepreneurs through the Search Fund Model. Operand’s Partners actively work with lower middle market businesses to create successful transitions for owners, employees, and customers. Founded in 2016, Operand has backed over 50 Search Fund principals and has invested in the acquisition of over a dozen businesses in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.



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