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 April 28th and previously on February 5th.

This has been an extremely active period of announcements related to technology, especially in the Cloud based logistics and transportation visibility segment. We have been hard at-work trying to keep-up, including significant developments this week.

Included in this edition are highlights of noteworthy announcements and/or developments from:

JD Logistics IPO

E2open’s Acquisition of BluJay Solutions

Project44’s Acquisition of ClearMetal

Siemens Acquisition of Supplyframe

Avetta Acquisition of Pegasus

FarEye Announced $100 Million Investment Round

Descartes Systems Group Acquisition of Portrix Logistics Software


JD Logistics Seeks to Raise Upwards of $3.2 Billion

JD Logistics the logistics arm of China based online retail platform provider is reportedly seeking to raise upwards of $3.2 billion through an IPO offering in Hong Kong. The logistics provider is scheduled to make its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on May 28.

The logistics and warehousing services provider was spun-off as a standalone business in 2017 and began taking on external E-Commerce and retail customers. Reportedly at the end of 2020, the services firm operated more than 900 warehouses and supported over 190,000 corporate customers including which accounted for 54 percent of 2020 revenues.

According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, the offering could value the logistics entity up to $34 billion, according to filings. Reporting from Nikkei Asia, indicates that the logistics unit expects a significant higher net loss in 2021 due to accounting changes, higher expenses and reduced gross margins. The provider’s net loss widened to 4 billion yuan in 2020, from 2.2 billion yuan a year earlier.

Cornerstone investors have included Soft Bank Vision Fund, Temasek and Blackstone Group among seven prior investors.


E2open to Acquire BluJay Solutions

E2open Parent Holdings, Inc., a network-based provider of Cloud-based, end-to-end supply chain management B2B platform, today announced that it will acquire BluJay Solutions, a Cloud-based, logistics execution platform.

Holland Michigan based BluJay provides a SaaS platform for supporting shippers, Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) and freight forwarders. The provider features is considered as a robust suite of logistics execution applications and a broad trade network of over 50,000 participants serving over 5,700 global customers. With an ecosystem of suppliers, carriers and network partners, the company enables differentiated connectivity across a broad array of supply chain participants.

Pursuant to the purchase agreement, E2open will acquire BluJay Solutions for an aggregate of 72.4 million shares of Class A Common Stock and ~$760 million of cash, which includes the repayment of debt, subject to adjustments for certain items enumerated in the purchase agreement. Based on the price of E2open’s Class A Common Stock on May 25, 2021 market close, the stock and cash transaction are valued at approximately $1.7 billion. In order to finance the transaction, E2open has secured $300 million in a common equity PIPE from institutional investors including Neuberger Berman, The WindAcre Partnership, Eminence Capital and XN, and a $380 million fully committed incremental tack-on to its first lien term loan.

According to the joint announcement, the acquisition of BluJay will materially expand E2open’s supply chain execution capabilities, especially in transportation management. Additionally, the acquisition brings a complementary global trade management platform that encompasses customs declaration and filing to E2open’s strong capabilities in compliance and tariffs. The acquisition further adds key direct-to-consumer offerings including last mile, parcel and dropship commerce. E2open’s network and data will reportedly be expanded by BluJay’s trade network with over 50,000 network participants, allowing broader data collection and insights for customers.

Earlier this month, Blujay Solutions announced a definitive agreement with Raven Logistics to acquire 100 percent of the rail TMS and managed services company. Raven is a logistics management company focused on rail transportation, offering a railroad SaaS technology offering coupled with managed services for the North American shipper market.

Raven, headquartered in Naples Florida, has been a BluJay partner since 2019 and the two companies have collaborated on serving specific customer needs.

The Supply Chain Matters blog will provide a separate future commentary regarding this significant acquisition in the B2B Supply Chain Business Networks technology area.


project44 To Acquire ClearMetal

Transportation and logistics Cloud platform provider project44 announced today that it will acquire San Francisco based ClearMetal, a provider in global supply chain visibility and predictive analytics.

No financial information nor timing was disclosed in the press release.

ClearMetal supports what is termed as the Continuous Delivery Experience and this provider’s patented artificial intelligence (AI) enables organizations to optimize their supply chains and provide customers with access to trusted, live information about their orders and shipments.

According to the announcement, the combined platform will deliver value to customers and supply chain partners by:

  • Deepening AI based business and market analytics capabilities that translate into intelligent cost savings in the form of reduced buffer stock and inventory optimization.
  • Improved demand forecasting and distribution capabilities, providing order and inventory level visibility across shipments, resulting in expedited fee reductions.
  • Expanding global upstream supplier visibility – particularly into Asia, where manufacturers and freight forwarders play a critical role in the global supply chain.

ClearMetal recently partnered with global consumer goods manufacturer Unilever to build and launch a Virtual Ocean Control Tower capability.

Supply Chain Matters will also provide a separate more detailed follow-up commentary regarding this acquisition.


Siemens Acquires Supplyframe

German based corporate conglomerate Siemens signed an agreement to acquire electronics industry focused Design-to-Source Cloud platform provider Supplyframe for $700 million.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Pasadena California, Supplyframe has reportedly created a strong Design-to-Source Intelligence (DSI) ecosystem with over 10 million engineering and supply chain professionals worldwide, transforming how businesses design, source, market and sell products in the global electronics value chain.

The deal reportedly will position Supplyframe as the nucleus of Siemen’s digital marketplace strategy. The acquisition further strengthens the Siemens portfolio through Software as a Service (SaaS) – not only in the field of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and Printed Circuit Boards (PCB), but also scaling into other domains and technology fields.

Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021.

Steve Flagg will continue as CEO of the Supplyframe unit and join the Siemens Digital Industries Software senior leadership team.


Avetta Acquisition of Pegasus

Avetta®, a provider of supply chain risk management software, announced that it has agreed to acquire Pegasus, a provider of worker competency management software and services. Based in Newcastle, Australia, Pegasus products are used by more than 100 hiring clients, including BHP, Lendlease, and Otis, to manage 3.5 million workers employed by 70,000 suppliers. With origins in the Hunter Valley mining industry in Australia, Pegasus has reportedly developed intuitive software to address industry challenges for workplace safety, competence and training. Industry verticals served include manufacturing, mining, retail, utilities and ports, among others.

The combination reportedly will help accelerate Avetta’s global growth strategy and is expected to create the largest provider of supply chain risk management and compliance technology offerings, with nearly 170,000 suppliers and 4 million managed workers.

According to the announcement, Pegasus will become the base of operations for Avetta in Australia. Pegasus CEO, Adam Boyle, will join Avetta and continue to lead the Pegasus business and help expand further in the Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) market. Adam and current Pegasus investor, Accel-KKR, will further become equity investors in Avetta.

The acquisition is expected to close after receipt of regulatory approvals. Until that time, both companies will continue to operate independently.


FarEye Announces $100 Million Series E Round

India based FarEye an end-to-end Cloud based global delivery management platform provider has announced completion of a $100 million Series E investment round led by TCV and Dragoneer Investment Group. Existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, Fundamentum and Honeywell also participated in the round.

Founded in 2013 by Kushal Nahata, Gaurav Srivastava, and Gautam Kumar, FarEye seeks to address a multi-billion-dollar delivery management market that continues to show double digit year on year growth. This providers predictive logistics platform is focused on helping enterprises to orchestrate, track, and optimize their logistics operations and is focused on both B2C and B2B segments.

The company’s platform reportedly processes over 100 million transactions each month, supports more than 25,000 drivers, and is integrated into a network of over two million vehicles. Growth has accelerated over the last 12 months with particularly strong traction in Europe and North America. These markets collectively comprise over half of revenues and have grown nearly three times in the same period.

This column highlighted FarEye Series D investment round in April of 2020.

The added investment funds will reportedly be used to accelerate the company’s mission of empowering brands to provide Amazon Prime-like delivery experiences and redefining how products are delivered across diverse logistics networks. FarEye will further focus on expanding its software platform capabilities, drive European and North American expansion, and continue to attract world-class talent.

As part of the transaction, Gopi Vaddi, General Partner at TCV, will join Far Eye’s board of directors.


Descartes Systems Group Acquires Portrix Logistics Software

Canada based logistics software provider Descartes Systems Group has reportedly acquired Germany based rate-management services provider Portrix Logistics Software in a deal valued at € 22 million or roughly $26.7 million.

Descartes will reportedly integrate its current supply chain systems with Portrix’s Global Price Management tool to allow customers to leverage shipment routing, pricing, rating and capacity management to improve the overall end-to-end customer experience.


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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