I nearly fell off my chair when Flexport chief executive Ryan Petersen yesterday told me the $1bn funding round he had just secured is only the first milestone to a market valuation where the long-term limit is the sky.

When asked to comment on market reports, which vaguely suggested that the start-up’s implicit value is currently a tad over $3bn, I asked him “why on earth only $3bn – why not $6bn or $9bn or more?”

(All numbers in $, millions; ...

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