The Supply Chain Matters blog features our latest edition of our supply chain management technology centric news capsule: This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech.
This series presents a brief synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management technology as well as business investment news which we believe would be of specific interest to our global-based blog readership.
Our most recent publishing of this column series occurred on June 4th. We further posted a special edition of this column last week which highlighted a new strategic partnership among Kinaxis and LevaData aimed at better planning of supply network risks.
This remains an extremely active period of announcements related to technology, especially in the Cloud based logistics and transportation technology segment.
Included in this edition are highlights of noteworthy announcements and/or developments from:
Two Self-Driving Truck Tech Providers to Merge in a SPAC Deals
U.S. self-driving truck technology firm Embark Trucks has entered into an arrangement with a special-purpose-acquisition company (SPAC) to go public in a deal that reportedly values the tech provider at upwards of $5.2 billion. The San Francisco based company is combining with sustainability focused SPAC Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II. The deal is reportedly expected to generate upwards of $615 million in cash proceeds.
Founded in 2016, Embark claims to be the oldest U.S. self-driving truck software firm and reportedly has partnerships with brand producers and transport companies to include Anheusher Busch InBev, HP Inc and nationwide truckload firm Knight Swift Transportation Holdings. The company reportedly is maintaining a small development focused fleet of vehicles running routes in Southern California.
Last month, self-driving truck technology firm Plus announced a SPAC deal valuing that firm at $3.3 billion in an arrangement with Hennessy Investment Capital Group. Shortly after this announcement. Amazon indicated that it planned to buy at least 1,000 self-driving trucks from Plus and further indicated options to acquire up to a 20 percent stake in Plus.
ShipBob Raises $200 Million in Series D Funding
Online customer fulfillment technology provider ShipBob announced the completion of a $200 million Series E funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures.
Founded in 2014, this provider provides mainly small and midsized B2C E-Commerce companies the abilities to receive online orders directly from customers and ship from nationwide distribution centers. The companies’ capabilities include a Cloud-based E-Commerce platform to receive and transmit orders and the operation of 24 fulfillment centers in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia… With the latest funding, plans call for expanding fulfillment center capabilities to 35 by the end of this year.
Last year with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many to have to work from home, this platform provider was able to grow its customer partners to more than 5000.
Exostar Launches New Platform
Exostar, an existing B2B platform provider focused on highly regulated industry sectors such as the Defense Industrial Base, Life Sciences and Healthcare businesses, announced the introduction of what is being branded as The Exostar Platform.
Leveraging an existing community of vetted manufacturers, sponsors, distributors, and providers, this new platform reportedly features additional modules that allow enterprises to establish business transactions and business intelligence more quickly and securely through streamlined application and information access.
The platform aims to assist platform participants in their digital transformation needs among business processes. More than 150,000 enterprises and agencies in 175 countries now are a part of Exostar.
The platform focuses on business-critical processes such as research and development, production and distribution, including sourcing and procurement, risk and supply chain management capabilities.
Circulor Raises $14 Million in Series A Funding
Supply chain traceability and CO2 tracking provider Circulor announced the closing of a Series A funding round focused to expand on the tech provider’s growth.
The Westly Group led the round with participation from Salesforce Ventures, BHP Ventures, Future Positive Capital, 24Haymarket and Sky Ocean Ventures. Existing investors in the company include Boeing HorizonX, Volvo Cars Technology Fund, Jaguar Land Rover’s CVC arm, InMotion Ventures, SYSTEMIQ, Plug and Play and TotalEnergies Ventures. Steve Westly, Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group, will join the Circulor board.
Circulor reportedly provides an enterprise software platform that uses a combination of technologies, including blockchain, business logic and machine learning. The technology capabilities assigns a digital identity to commodities and tracks the supply chain data and embedded carbon at each stage of production, recycling and end-of-life, providing visibility across traditionally opaque and complex supply chains, and helping companies address ESG objectives.
The technology provider aims to direct the investment to drive ongoing innovation and extend its presence in North America and Asia
Overhaul Announces Closing of $35 Million Series B Round
Supply-chain visibility, integrity, and security software provider Overhaul announced completion of its $35 million Series B funding round. The round was led by Macquarie Capital, with participation from Edison Partners and Avanta Ventures (venture arm of CSAA Insurance Group).
Founded in 2016. The company’s technologies are utilized in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical and healthcare, technology, logistics, and food and beverage sectors. The company offers software that monitors cargo on a real-time basis to assess risks. Most recently, the tech provider announced its newest offering, “TruckShield™”, a risk-management technology directed at North American motor carriers that leverages existing fleet hardware to identify dangerous or illegal driving practices in real time, while implementing corrective actions to avoid costly situations.
In 2020, the company completed a $17.5 million Series A growth equity investment, led by Edison Partners, which laid the groundwork to triple its success from the previous year, despite the pandemic. Combined with earlier rounds, the funding led by Macquarie Capital Principal Finance brings Overhaul’s total funding to $55 million.
The company is looking to leverage its latest equity infusion in growing its global team with additional resources in software-development, product, sales, marketing, and talent-development teams, across the United States, Mexico, and Ireland.
RoadSync Raises $30 Million
RoadSync, a digital financial platform focused on the logistics industry recently announced its $30M Series B funding. The round was led by Tiger Global, with participation by current investors Base10 Partners, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and one other new investor, Gaingels.
Atlanta based RoadSync’s digital financial platform reportedly automates the routine business expenses faced by truck drivers and their employers, delivering faster payments, better oversight, and more convenience for payers and their vendors. By offering more ways to pay and get paid, the company’s technology is ensuring drivers are never stuck waiting for needed funds, brokers and carriers can securely give drivers the funds they need, and warehouses and merchants realize quick and easy driver transactions whether on the road or at the dock door.
The company’s Series A funding occurred in April 2020 and raised $5.7 million. The tech provider is seeking to utilize this latest infusion to recruit additional people in sales and product engineering by the end of 2021. The start-up reportedly has a staff of 90 employees currently.
This concludes our latest edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech.
A note to readers: Supply Chain Matters will feature this column periodically as announcements warrant.
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