The Supply Chain Matters blog features our January 27, 2022 edition of This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech, a synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news which we believe would be of specific interest to our global-based blog readership.
With all of non-stop of news developments involving supply chain management, we have candidly fallen behind in timely updates to this column. However, the new year presents opportunities for renewal, and we at least wanted to update readers on some latest news in supply chain management and B2B supply chain business network focused technology developments.
Names included in this edition include:
SAP SE and Icertis
Added $295 Million Equity Investment in 09 Solutions
Dallas, Texas based supply chain planning and advanced analytics software technology provider o9 Solutions announced a new round of private equity funding amounting to $295 million.
Investors included in this latest round were existing investor KKR, along with growth equity firm General Atlantic, climate–focused investment strategy firm BeyondNetZero, and Generation Investment Management. The latter as a sustainability focused investment firm co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. This latest investment round values the technology provider at $2.7 billion. This marks an increase from the $1 billion valuation in April 2020 at the time of the company’s first-ever external investment amounting to $100 million led by KKR.
This capital investment follows a reported record year during which the company reported a greater than threefold increase year-over-year in annual recurring revenue (ARR) from new customers.
Our readers may be familiar with the two founders of o9 Solutions, which was founded in 2009 by Sanjiv Sidhu and Chakri Gottemukkala, tech entrepreneurs with a track record of value creation by delivering innovative planning solutions for global companies. Sanjiv was the founder and CEO of the former i2 Technologies, a company that provided supply chain advanced planning and supply chain management software in the early 1990s and 2000s. Chakri was a key contributor in a variety of roles in product development, sales and strategy at i2, with a passion for creating world class products that solve complex problems.
This latest investment will reportedly assist the tech provider’s efforts in building added market momentum as well as accelerate growth for its AI-powered Integrated Business Planning platform termed the “Digital Brain.” Other purposes are noted as driving continued R&D, industry knowledge models and partner ecosystem development.
Noted customers of o9 Solutions include Bridgestone, Caterpillar, Google, Nestle, New Balance, Pirelli, Walmart, among others.
Vecna Robotics Announces $65 Million in Added Funding
Waltham, Massachusetts based Vecna Robotics announced a $65 million Series C funding round which was led by Tiger Global Management, with existing investors Blackhorn Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Tectonic Ventures, Drive C Partners, and new investors Lineage Logistics, Proficio Capital Partners, and IMPULSE.
The company which designs, builds and deploys autonomous mobile robots (AMR) specifically in material handling applications was the beneficiary of previous $50 million Series B round that completed in January 2020. With this latest round, investment to date amounts to over $125 million. The robotics technology provider was founded in 1998 by a consortium of MIT engineers.
Reportedly, this latest round of funding round will allow Vecna to further its development in end-to-end automated material handling workflows. The funding will further extend the company’s development of PivotalTM, a proprietary orchestration engine, to enable integration with existing warehouse management systems as well as third-party automation solutions.
Supply Chain Matters founder Bob Ferrari first visited Vecna in December of 2017 and declared that this was a provider to watch. Vecna had initially piloted their robotics technology in healthcare and military application settings and then leveraged their technology for applied use in logistics, material movement and warehousing areas. By September of 2018, the company had gained visibility with three other Boston area autonomous mobile robotics start-ups, which included names such as Fetch Robotics, Locus Robotics and 6 River Systems.
By September of 2020, the time of the company’s Series B round, Vecna’s robot and software technology was being deployed in many of the world’s leading distribution centers to include FedEx Ground, Milton CAT, DHL Supply Chain, GEODIS, Medline, among others.
SAP and Icertis Announced Expanded Partnership
Enterprise technology software provider SAP SE and enterprise contract management technology provider Icertis joint announced an expanded partnership this week.
According to the announcement, the partnership builds on the existing relationship among these two tech providers which began in 2020 with the integration of Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) with SAP Ariba and SAP Customer Experience applications.
This expanded partnership reportedly includes a financial investment from SAP in Icertis, coupled with efforts toward development of a joint product road map and deeper technological integration among the two software platforms. Noted is that joint customers will have the opportunity to benefit from ICI capabilities in smart contract creation, online negotiation, AI-assisted risk identification, obligation management and contract-driven insights for decision support while operating their core source-to-pay and lead-to-cash processes within SAP’s applications. Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) for SAP Ariba and ICI for SAP Customer Experience are now deemed to be SAP Endorsed Apps, premium certified by SAP with reportedly added security, in-depth testing and measurements against Cloud operations best practices.
Commenting on the announcement, SAP CEO Christian Klein noted in-part: “This partnership is a great complement to our portfolio, with multiple touch points to SAP systems across ERP, finance, procurement, sales and HR.”
This Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Tech column has featured Icertis in prior updates. In a July 2019 update, we highlighted the closing of a $115 million Series E equity investment round where the company became the first contract lifecycle management (CLM) technology provider to be valued at more than a billion dollars. By transforming static documents into strategic digital assets, businesses had the opportunity to protect against risk, improve compliance, accelerate business velocity, and optimize commercial relationships over the entire life of a contract. Among Icertis listed customers are Airbus, Bertelsmann, Daimler, Allianz, Becton Dickerson, Johnson and Johnson, and others.
This concludes our latest edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech.
As noted in our opening, will strive to keep-up with the numerous supply chain technology related announcements that are occurring at a fever pace.
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