The Supply Chain Matters blog features our March 10, 2023 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.

One particular theme prevalent in this update are hard times falling on particular digital freight and autonomous trucking start-ups. Another are signs of the reining in of Cloud spending expense levels on the part of companies.

Specific updates include:

Overhaul ‘s $73 Million in Growth Financing

Transfix CEO Change

Embark Trucks Winding Down Operations

CIO’s and Technology Chiefs Under Pressure to Control Cloud Technology Costs



Overhaul Raises $73 Million in Growth Financing

Overhaul which describes itself as a software-based supply-chain visibility, risk, compliance, and insurance provider announced $73 million in new growth capital including $38 million in equity and $35 million in non-dilutive debt.

Growth equity investor Edison Partners led the investment with participation from strategic investors eGateway Capital, StepStone Group, and TRM Ventures. Stifel Bank provided the debt financing. Previous investors Abbey International Finance, Avanta Ventures and Macquarie Capital also participated in the round.

Reportedly, the technology provider will deploy this investment to expand globally, enhance product offerings and fund a recent acquisition of security services provider SensiGuard.

This Austin, Texas based tech provider which operates globally and employs upwards of 600 indicates that it will track more than $1 trillion in total cargo in movement in 2023. The company indicates a 96 percent recovery rate for FTL cargo theft, and an 80 percent ratio reduction as compared to the insurance industry benchmark.


Transfix CEO Steps Down

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the CEO of digital freight start-up Transfix was stepping down and would be succeeded by the company’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. Reportedly the resignation was a personal decision.

In June of last year,  Transfix had plans to partner in a SPAC arrangement that would have valued this tech provider at slightly over $1.1 billion, but the move had to be postponed. In October, the SPAC plan was terminated due to existing market conditions.

The report observes that trucking and freight brokerage digital tech providers benefitted from strong revenues during the latter-half of 2020 and throughout 2021. Demand has since waned and certain start-ups have had to reduce spending and shed workers.

The company’s new CEO indicates the tech provider will now focus on being more efficient.


Embark Reportedly Winding Down Operations

U.S. self-driving truck technology firm Embark Trucks has announced that the tech provider is winding down operations including the layoff of a large majority of its employees.

This column featured Embark in a June 2021 update when the start-up entered into an arrangement with a special-purpose-acquisition company (SPAC) to go public in a deal aiming to raise $615 million, that reportedly valued the company at upwards of $5.2 billion at the time. This planned closure is 16 months after this SPAC arrangement.

Founded in 2016, Embark claimed to be the oldest U.S. self-driving truck software firm and reportedly had partnerships with brand producers and transport companies to include Anheusher Busch InBev, HP Inc and nationwide truckload firm Knight Swift Transportation Holdings.

According to posting on CrunchBase, “Autonomous trucking startup Embark Trucks capped off one of the faster riches-to-rags stories of the SPAC era, announcing that it is laying off most employees and winding down operations.

CEO Alex Rodrigues Indicated in an email to employees: “after thoroughly evaluating all alternatives, we have been unable to identify a path forward for the business in its current form.”

Crunchbase further opined: “The 7-year-old company never had revenue to begin with, let alone earnings or a path to profitability. The entirety of its one time multibillion-dollar valuation rested, instead, on optimism about the potential of its technology.”

Also noted was that Embark is one of multiple start-ups in the autonomous trucking technology area that have since fallen on hard times with continued business challenges to include names such as: Otto, Starsky Robotics, TuSimple and Aurora.


CIO’s and Technology Chiefs Under Pressure to Control Cloud Technology Costs

The Wall Street Journal reports (Paid subscription required) that despite spending on Cloud computing services continuing to grow, corporate CIO’s and technology chiefs are under pressure to control growing costs of such technology.

Some are turning to audit management tools while others are either engaging third-party audit consultants or tapping dedicated teams to assess where spending can be reduced. The report indicates that an ebb in Cloud spending follows perceptions that some Cloud investments are not returning what was expected.

The report indicates that with businesses forced to continue to mange increased costs and persistent high inflation levels, some CIO’s indicate that controlling Cloud spending is paramount. Further indicated by tech chiefs is that managing Cloud costs is a full-time endeavor given how quickly computing resources can increase or decrease among businesses.

Companies mentioned in this CIO Journal report are Schneider Electric, Autodesk, Inc., Carlsberg AS, among others.


This concludes this edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Tech. We publish as news cycles warrant so keep tuned for future editions.


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