The Supply Chain Matters blog features our April 26, 2019 Edition of This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech, a brief synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news which we believe would be of specific interest to our global-based readership.  This Week in Supply Chain Technology

Included in this edition are roughly three weeks of highlights related to noteworthy announcements and/or developments related to:

Locus Robotics


KNAPP and Takeoff Technologies

Zaelb and Mirakl


Locus Robotics Raises $26 Million in Added Funding

Locus Robotics announced this week that the company closed on a $26.2 million Series C funding round  led by Zebra Ventures, the strategic investing arm of Zebra Technologies, and Scale Venture Partners, which led a prior funding round in 2017. Scale Venture Partners is also an investor in two other robotics technology providers, Soft Robotics and Drone Deploy.

Proceeds from this round will reportedly assist the robotics technology provider to expand market offerings in Europe, and later to Asia. In addition, Locus intends to develop what the technology provider describes as “next-generation robots.”

This latest round amounts to $66 million in cumulative funding since the company was spun out from Quiet Logistics in 2015.


KeepTruckin Raises $149 Million in Series D Funding

KeepTruckin Inc., a provider of technology directed at helping carriers to manage fleets and truck driver compliance needs, announced this week that the company has secured $149 million in Series D funding. According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, this added funding gives this six-year-old San Francisco start-up a market valuation of upwards of $1.2 billion.

This technology provider began making apps and software related to truck electronic logging devices and has since leveraged ELD data to track vehicles, monitor fuel usage and flag truck maintenance issues. Proceeds from this latest funding will be reportedly expand development to incorporate an electronic load board to be able to match loads to carriers based on information relative to driver location, preferred routs and remaining available driving time. Other added applications reportedly will include expanded information on wait times at unloading facilities to help carriers decide which loads they prefer to accept.

The latest funding round was led by Greenoaks Capital with participation of four existing investors including GV, Alphabet’s venture capital arm. The company has now raised a total of $228 million.

According to the WSJ, the funding puts this provider in a stream of digital freight ventures that are now attracting hundreds of millions in recent years.


Knapp Grows E-Grocery and Warehouse Automation Business

KNAPP and Takeoff Technologies announced a $150 million, 50-site order that the companies say represents one of the most significant events in eGrocery adoption to date.

Takeoff Technologies is a Boston-based company launching a brand new, groundbreaking technology that is designed to bring innovative automation to the eGrocery industry. The company has already partnered with multiple retailers including Albertsons, Stop and Shop, and Sedano’s to roll out their robotics model.

Customer orders are placed online through their local grocery store and filled by Automated Micro Fulfillment Centers provided by Takeoff, where AI-enabled robots assemble full supermarket orders of 60 items in just a few minutes – a fraction of speed and cost versus current manual picking options. These centers have 1/10 the footprint of a typical supermarket thanks to innovative robotics and compact vertical spaces.

Takeoff’s Micro Fulfillment Centers are set to be built throughout the U.S., in urban and suburban locations, resulting in convenient and hyper-local solutions for grocery shoppers nationwide. Retailers can leverage underutilized real estate by turning existing stores into micro distribution centers with Takeoff’s technology. These centers reportedly require only a small fraction of store space and can serve a broader market through a hub-and-spoke approach.


Zaelb and Mirakl Form Strategic Partnership

Zaelab, a digital advisory and solutions company, announced today a strategic partnership with Mirakl, a global marketplace technology provider. The partnership pairs Zaelab’s disruptive advisory, execution and growth capabilities with Mirakl’s technology and partner ecosystem, enabling large B2B and B2C organizations to launch their own eCommerce marketplace.

Zaelab and Mirakl have reportedly initiated their strategic partnership by working with a longstanding Zaelab client – a Fortune 500 global industrial company based out of Europe. With Zaelab’s strategic guidance and recommendations, the enterprise will roll out a Mirakl marketplace in a key target region, followed by global adoption.

This strategic partnership comes on the heels of Mirakl’s announced $70 million Series C round of funding in February led by Bain Capital Ventures along with launching 37 new marketplaces in 2018.


Note to Readers- Supply Chain Matters will feature our This Week in Supply Chain Tech series as announcements warrant.


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