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 May 28th.
This has been an extremely active period of announcements related to technology, especially in the Cloud based logistics and transportation technology segment. We are posting this added edition this week because of added news.
Included in this edition are highlights of noteworthy announcements and/or developments from:
project44 Closes Series E Funding Round
DHL Expanded Agreement with Locus Robotics
Locus Closes $50 Million Series C Funding Round
project44 Closes $200 Million Plus Series Funding Round
Transportation and logistics Cloud platform provider project44 announced this week that the provider closed on a $202 million Series E funding round. This latest equity funding round was led by funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management (Goldman Sachs) and Emergence Capital and valued the company at $1.2 Billion.
To date, the technology provider has raised in excess of $442 million in funding for support expansion and added development. This blog highlighted the company’s $100 million Series D funding round in late December 2020 and thus a significant amount of money has been flowing into this high-growth provider. The Series D round was led by private equity firm Insight Venture Partners.
In late May, the project44 announced a 100 percent year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue (ARR), surpassing $50 million.
Last week in this column we highlighted the announced acquisition of San Francisco based ClearMetal, a provider in global supply chain visibility and predictive analytics, that supports what is termed as the Continuous Delivery Experience.
This latest round of financing will reportedly accelerate the company’s expanded support of multi-modal network carrier visibility, including China and Asian markets. Further noted was increased development efforts to expand artificial intelligence (AI) and data science capabilities, and bolster sales and marketing reach globally.
DHL Announces Expanded Agreement with Locus Robotics
DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics business entity within Deutsche Post DHL Group, announces this week a framework agreement expanding its ongoing logistics automation collaboration with Wilmington Massachusetts based Locus Robotics.
According to the announcement, the global based supply chain logistics services provider has plans to deploy upwards of up to 2,000 assisted material picking robots, and in essence becoming the largest customer of Locus Robotics. The assisted picking robots, sometimes referred to as Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMR), are mostly used in E-commerce or consumer warehouses to help with picking and inventory replenishment, thereby increasing efficiency and accelerating delivery processes. The robots are integrated with associated Warehouse Management System (WMS) in assisting warehouse picking workers to various warehouse bin picking locations while displaying images of product needing to be picked. Robots “learn” various picking patterns and automatically re-adjust material storage bins to allow for faster and more efficient picking.
Thus far, DHL Supply Chain has reportedly more than 500 assisted picking robots deployed across United States, European and United Kingdom facilities. Plans call for the deployment of an additional 500 robots deployed in a total of more than 20 locations by the end of this year, with implantation roadmaps established for the remaining robots to be deployed during 2022. Robot deployment is reportedly supported by a DHL Supply Chain Accelerated Digitalization Strategy framework.
There were no financial disclosures relative to the value of this agreement.
Locus Closes $50 Million Series C Funding Round
Locus, a technology platform provider that leverages machine learning and proprietary algorithms to automate what are considered complex supply chain decisions, announced that the company has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures LLC and existing investors Tiger Global and Falcon Edge. Noted angel investors Amrish Rau, CEO of Pine Labs, Kunal Shah, CEO of Cred, Raju Reddy, founder of Sierra Atlantic, and Deb Deep Sengupta, former President & MD, SAP South Asia, also participated in the round. The company had previously raised $30 million across multiple rounds.
Founded in 2015, the company leverages deep machine learning and proprietary algorithms to provide scalable solutions to complex problems.
Reportedly, Locus works with top clients across North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. It has offices in the United States, the UK, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Germany. The company’s web site cites customer names of Blue Dart, goodfood, Mondelez, Nestle and Tata.
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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