In this regular edition of our featured column, Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Management Technology, we provide a capsule synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news which we believe would be of specific interest to our global-based multi-industry supply chain readership.

Our prior regular published update of this column occurred on May 13 and featured news related to Shopify and Panasonic.

Included in this June 14, 2022 edition are updates featuring the following providers:

ToolsGroup and Onera

GreyOrange

Freightos Limited

Oracle and Cerner

Panasonic

 

ToolsGroup Acquires Onera

Supply chain planning technology provider ToolsGroup announced the acquisition of Onera, a provider of real-time inventory availability and fulfillment software solutions catering to retail industry needs. According to the announcement, the combined software offering gives retailers crucial visibility into inventory as well as the sophistication needed to optimize planning and fulfillment.

San Francisco-based Onera provides retail technology that connects inventory across siloed systems and transforms them into a single, real-time source of inventory status. Real-time inventory availability is reportedly provided by tracking inventory across the supply chain and intelligently exposing inventory to any fulfillment channel.

Onera, backed by Bain Capital Ventures and Founder’s Collective, was founded under the premise that as commerce evolved, so too would the supply chain. The eight-year-old startup currently works with prominent retailers, such as Gap, rue21, Old Navy, TORRID and Zumiez to enable a best-in-class omnichannel experience.

No financial details were disclosed regarding his acquisition.

Reportedly, ToolsGroup will add Onera’s inventory availability and fulfillment technology to its retail planning suite. The acquisition comes on the heels of ToolsGroup’s acquisition of Mi9 Retail’s Demand Management business (formerly JustEnough Software), and further extends ToolsGroup’s functional reach in retail from planning to execution. This column featured details of that acquisition in a November 2021 update.

 

GreyOrange Closes $110 Million Growth Financing Round

GreyOrange, a provider of automated robotic fulfillment and inventory optimization software, announced $110 million in comprehensive growth financing, a majority of which came from Mithril Capital Management and a group of current and new investors. Separate financing was reportedly provided by funds and accounts under management by BlackRock.

This Atlanta headquartered technology provider reduces operating costs and expedites delivery for global retail industry leaders that include Walmart, H&M, COS, Coupang and GXO Logistics. The company claims to be the only company that integrates software and robots built together specifically to improve customer order fulfillment throughput, scale, accuracy and economics.

The company reportedly added new customers, applications and geographies while achieving over 170 percent gross retention in contracted revenue from existing customers in 2021. A previous edition of this column published in December of 2019 highlighted release of the company’s fulfillment operating system.

According to the announcement, GreyOrange will deploy this growth capital to accelerate the company’s technology leadership, continue its global expansion and further support the adoption of this tech provider’s fulfillment platform in warehouses, distribution centers and retail stores. Reportedly, the tech provider will also utilize a portion of the debt financing provided by funds and accounts under management by BlackRock to invest in scaling headcount in key areas.

 

 

Freightos Merges With Gesher I SPAC

Freightos Limited, a global freight booking and payment platform, and Gesher I Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) , announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that would result in Freightos being publicly listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “FROS“. The combined entity will reportedly have a pro forma enterprise value of approximately $435 million.

In addition to the proposed merger with Gesher, the combined entity has obtained $80 million in capital commitments. Existing shareholders in Freightos include SGX Group (the Singapore Exchange Limited), FedEx Corporation, a number of major airlines, including Qatar Airways, IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (a leading airline group whose brands include British Airways and Iberia), LATAM Airlines Group, and leading financial investors such as Aleph and MoreVC.  Reportedly, existing Freightos shareholders are expected to own up to 78  percent of the combined company after funding.

As an expression of confidence in Freightos and long-term commitment, the team and large existing and new Freightos shareholders have signed lockup agreements spanning two years.

This tech provider connects participants across the international freight ecosystem, including hundreds of airlines, ocean liners, and trucking companies, as well as thousands of freight forwarders and over ten thousand importers and exporters, through a transparent digital platform that allows real-time global freight rate comparison, booking, and shipment management.

The capital raised from this transaction will reportedly be invested to further scale the business, driving transaction value and improving margins.

 

Oracle Receives Regulatory Approval for Cerner Corp. Acquisition

Oracle Corporation has announced that all required antitrust approvals have been obtained for its proposed acquisition of electronic medical records tech provider Cerner, including European Commission clearance.

Oracle announced the roughly $28.3 billion acquisition in December of 2021 in an all-cash tender offer.

Cerner a provider of digital information systems used within hospitals and health systems to enable medical professionals to deliver better healthcare to individual patients and communities.

In a press event held last week, Oracle Co-Founder and CTO Larry Ellison outlined a series of joint healthcare records objectives leveraging technology from both providers. Touched upon was the joint development of an industry B2B platform for the procurement of pharmaceuticals, drugs and medical supplies enabled by embedded RFID tracking devices. Further noted was the leveraging of Oracle blockchain technology as a product validation mechanism to combat the risk counterfeit drugs flowing across healthcare supply networks.

 

Panasonic to Quadruple Battery Production Capacity

According to a published report from the Japan Times, Panasonic Holdings announced that its battery manufacturing unit plans to quadruple production of electric vehicle batteries by fiscal 2028 amid increasing demand from U.S. auto makers including Tesla.

The President of Panasonic Energy, indicated at an investor relations event that he hopes to contribute to the public becoming familiar with EVs by increasing production of the next generation batteries.

Panasonic is reportedly further eyeing increasing the production of batteries and the construction of new factories in North America.

 

This concludes our latest edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech.

We continue to strive in keeping-up with the numerous supply chain technology related announcements that continue to occur in this summarized news capsule. We will continue to publish breaking or significant tech market news in dedicated postings, as they occur.

 

© Copyright 2022, The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.