Parisian startup Shippeo raises €26.3M to help companies track road transport and provide more sustainable operations; here’s how

Shippeo

Paris-based Shippeo, a SaaS platform that provides real-time transportation visibility, has raised $ 32M (approx €26.3M) in a fresh round of funding. The round is co-led by Battery Ventures, (a technology-focused investment firm) and existing investors, including NGP Capital, ETF Partners, Partech, and Bpifrance Digital Venture. 

Use of the funds

Shippeo will use the current investment to strengthen its position in the market and continue to deliver product innovation.

Speaking on the development, founders Pierre Khoury and Lucien Besse of Shippeo, said, “Battery Ventures, founded in 1983, has a long track record of investing in prominent SaaS businesses in the US and Europe and partnering with management teams to help them grow their businesses smartly. With Battery’s industrial reach and strong experience in the technology sector, Shippeo will carry out its main objectives: strengthening its leading position in Europe and boosting its edge over its competitors.”

About Shippeo

The company was founded in 2014 by Pierre Khoury, Lucien Besse, David Barre, Jean-Bastien Dussart, Brice Hua, and Thibaut Morlot. 

Shippeo aims to build a data platform for the freight industry, by leveraging its growing network, real-time data, and AI to help supply chains deliver exceptional customer service and achieve operational excellence.

The company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform offers an API that integrates transportation management systems as well as telematics products, ERP, and electronic logging device technology, among other data sources. This provides real-time location data, delivery tracking, and a proprietary algorithm to calculate a shipment’s Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).

Shippeo claims to have tracked more than 140,000 deliveries per month throughout Europe for companies such as Leroy Merlin, Saint-Gobain, and Faurecia.

Solving the pain-point of the freight industry

Due to the Covid-19 scenario, the need for supply-chain visibility has been increasing more than ever. With many countries in lockdown and with unpredictable border closures, companies with advanced visibility solutions have managed to reduce the transport delays and operational inefficiencies.

Beyond tracking shipments, visibility platforms now give supply chains the data-driven transparency to meet various customer demands in uncertain and challenging market conditions.

And supposedly, this is where Shippeo stepped in and claims to have more than doubled its subscription revenues year on year.

Companies using Shippeo’s platform can now identify every pain point and inefficiency end-to-end across their global logistics operations and take action to optimise their processes. This results in lower transportation costs, increased customer satisfaction, and more sustainable operations.

Recent development

Just last October, Shippeo acquired the French company oPhone, bringing major customers in the retail and manufacturing sectors in its community. And now, the company’s total workforce has more than doubled, totaling 160 employees, of which 45% work in R&D.

In February 2020, Shippeo raised €20M in its Series B round led by NGP Capital and ETF Partners, with participation from Bpifrance Digital Ventures and Partech.

Prior to that, the company has raised €10M (2017) in Series A round from Otium Capital and Partech. In 2016, it raised €2M in its Seed round from Otium Capital, and in 2015 it raised its pre-Seed round funding of €90K.

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Spryker raises $130M at a $500M+ valuation to provide B2Bs with agile e-commerce tools

Businesses today feel, more than ever, the imperative to have flexible e-commerce strategies in place, able to connect with would-be customers wherever they might be. That market driver has now led to a significant growth round for a startup that is helping the larger of these businesses, including those targeting the B2B market, build out their digital sales operations with more agile, responsive e-commerce solutions.

Spryker, which provides a full suite of e-commerce tools for businesses — starting with a platform to bring a company’s inventory online, through to tools to analyse and measure how that inventory is selling and where, and then adding voice commerce, subscriptions, click & collect, IoT commerce and other new features and channels to improve the mix — has closed a round of $ 130 million.

It plans to use the funding to expand its own technology tools, as well as grow internationally. The company makes revenues in the mid-eight figures (so, around $ 50 million annually) and some 10% of its revenues currently come from the U.S. The plan will be to grow that business as part of its wider expansion, tackling a market for e-commerce software that is estimated to be worth some $ 7 billion annually.

The Series C was led by TCV — the storied investor that has backed giants like Facebook, Airbnb, Netflix, Spotify and Splunk, as well as interesting, up-and-coming e-commerce “plumbing” startups like Spryker, Relex and more. Previous backers One Peak and Project A Ventures also participated.

We understand that this latest funding values Berlin -based Spryker at more than $ 500 million.

Spryker today has around 150 customers, global businesses that run the gamut from recognised fashion brands through to companies that, as Boris Lokschin, who co-founded the company with Alexander Graf (the two share the title of co-CEOs) put it, are “hidden champions, leaders and brands you have never heard about doing things like selling silicone isolations for windows.” The roster includes Metro, Aldi Süd, Toyota and many others.

The plan will be to continue to support and grow its wider business building e-commerce tools for all kinds of larger companies, but in particular Spryker plans to use this tranche of funding to double down specifically on the B2B opportunity, building more agile e-commerce storefronts and in some cases also developing marketplaces around that.

One might assume that in the world of e-commerce, consumer-facing companies need to be the most dynamic and responsive, not least because they are facing a mass market and all the whims and competitive forces that might drive users to abandon shopping carts, look for better deals elsewhere or simply get distracted by the latest notification of a TikTok video or direct message.

For consumer-facing businesses, making sure they have the latest adtech, marketing tech and tools to improve discovery and conversion is a must.

It turns out that business-facing businesses are no less immune to their own set of customer distractions and challenges — particularly in the current market, buffeted as it is by the global health pandemic and its economic reverberations. They, too, could benefit from testing out new channels and techniques to attract customers, help them with discovery and more.

“We’ve discovered that the model for success for B2B businesses online is not about different people, and not about money. They just don’t have the tooling,” said Graf. “Those that have proven to be more successful are those that are able to move faster, to test out everything that comes to mind.”

Spryker positions itself as the company to help larger businesses do this, much in the way that smaller merchants have adopted solutions from the likes of Shopify .

In some ways, it almost feels like the case of Walmart versus Amazon playing itself out across multiple verticals, and now in the world of B2B.

“One of our biggest DIY customers [which would have previously served a mainly trade-only clientele] had to build a marketplace because of restrictions in their brick and mortar assortment, and in how it could be accessed,” Lokschin said. “You might ask yourself, who really needs more selection? But there are new providers like Mano Mano and Amazon, both offering millions of products. Older companies then have to become marketplaces themselves to remain competitive.”

It seems that even Spryker itself is not immune from that marketplace trend: Part of the funding will be to develop a technology AppStore, where it can itself offer third-party tools to companies to complement what it provides in terms of e-commerce tools.

“We integrate with hundreds of tech providers, including 30-40 payment providers, all of the essential logistics networks,” Lokschin said.

Spryker is part of that category of e-commerce businesses known as “headless” providers — by which they mean those using the tools do so by way of API-based architecture and other easy-to-integrate modules delivered through a “PaaS” (clould-based Platform as a Service) model.

It is not alone in that category: There have been a number of others playing on the same concept to emerge both in Europe and the U.S. They include Commerce Layer in Italy; another startup out of Germany called Commercetools; and Shogun in the U.S.

Spryker’s argument is that by being a newer company (founded in 2018) it has a more up-to-date stack that puts it ahead of older startups and more incumbent players like SAP and Oracle.

That is part of what attracted TCV and others in this round, which was closed earlier than Spryker had even planned to raise (it was aiming for Q2 of next year) but came on good terms.

“The commerce infrastructure market has been a high priority for TCV over the years. It is a large market that is growing rapidly on the back of e-commerce growth,” said Muz Ashraf, a principal at TCV, to TechCrunch. “We have invested across other areas of the commerce stack, including payments (Mollie, Klarna), underlying infrastructure (Redis Labs) as well as systems of engagement (ExactTarget, Sitecore). Traditional offline vendors are increasingly rethinking their digital commerce strategy, more so given what we are living through, and that further acts as a market accelerant.

“Having tracked Spryker for a while now, we think their solution meets the needs of enterprises who are increasingly looking for modern solutions that allow them to live in a best-of-breed world, future-proofing their commerce offerings and allowing them to provide innovative experiences to their consumers.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Arya raises $21M to provide farmers in India finance and post-harvest services

Only about a third of the yields Indian farmers produce reaches the big markets. Those whose produce makes it there today are able to leverage post-harvest services. Everyone else is missing out.

A Noida-based startup is working with all the stakeholders — farmers, food processors, traders and financial institutions — to bridge this post-harvest services gap — and it just secured new funds to continue its journey.

Seven-year-old Arya said on Tuesday it has raised $ 21 million in its Series B financing round. The round was led by Quona Capital, a venture firm that focuses on fintech in emerging markets. Existing investors LGT Lightstone Aspada and Omnivore also participated in the round, while multiple unnamed lenders are providing additional debt financing to the startup, Arya said.

Nearly all post-harvest interventions that exist in India today are focused largely toward major agriculture centres such as Kota in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan and Azadpur Mandi in capital New Delhi, explained Prasanna Rao, co-founder and chief executive of Arya, in an interview with TechCrunch.

This uneven concentration has deprived millions of farmers in the country of reasonable options to efficiently store and sell their produce and of financing options to maintain their cash flow, he said.

“Our belief is that we should cater to the two-thirds of the market that are currently underserved. The Kota mandi (market), for instance, has 35 bank branches in a kilometre of radius. But if you travel 70 to 80 kilometres away from Kota, this really declines,” said Rao, who previously worked at a bank.

Arya is solving all the aforementioned challenges: It operates a network of more than 1,500 warehouses in 20 Indian states where it stores over $ 1 billion worth of commodities. This network allows farmers to store their produce at a centre that is much nearer to their farms, avoiding any spillage and exorbitant real estate costs of the big markets. On the credit side, Arya has disbursed over $ 36.5 million to farmers and its banking partners have disbursed more than $ 95 million.

“Arya is addressing a vastly underserved market of farmers in India, half of whom previously had little access to post-harvest finance,” said Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder and partner at Quona Capital, in a statement. “We believe Arya’s unique approach, providing a full-service digital platform with embedded finance and differentiated efficiencies for small farmholders, will drive the future of farming in India.”

The startup’s offerings have proven even more useful during the coronavirus pandemic, which saw New Delhi enforce one of the world’s strictest lockdowns earlier this year. The lockdown broke the supply chain network, and prices of agricultural commodities dropped by over 20%.

To navigate this, Arya connected farmer produce organizers, or FPOs, with buyers through its own digital marketplace a2zgodaam.com. “The need for immediate liquidity saw demand increase for credit against these warehouse receipts. Arya’s credit portfolio saw a 3x jump year-on-year,” wrote Prashanth Prakash, a founding partner at Accel in India, and Mark Kahn, managing partner at Omnivore in an industry report last week.

Rao said Arya will deploy the fresh capital to scale its fintech platform in a “big way” as the startup broadens its network of warehouses across the country. Additionally, the startup plans to fuel the growth of a2zgodaam.com, which also aggregates unorganized warehouses, and supercharge them with their own set of financiers and insurers and ways to allow farmers to sell directly through these warehouses if they need.

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For those who have sold your startup… what input can you provide? 4 year old business, apprised at value that would “set me up for life”, still have things I want to do, but also also fighting burn out. What are some things to consider? This is the most complex decision yet.

Appraised by multiple brokers in the mid 8 figures.

String revenue with good potential growth over next couple years.

Burn out is very strong from all aspects. The anxiety has grown extensively over last 3-6 months.

Excited for the industry and potential but burn out is just so big and toll on my mental state.

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“We’ll see doctors and AI blended to provide better healthcare”: Interview with Piotr Orzechowski, CEO of Infermedica

The COVID-19 pandemic brought telemedicine into a new light. With people locked down at home, it has become the ‘new normal’ way of accessing healthcare. Now, telemedicine and monitoring are about to progress a step further with companies like Infermedica. Founded in 2012 in Wrocław, the company offers an AI-driven platform that helps insurance, telemedicine companies and health systems increase efficiency through…

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The post “We’ll see doctors and AI blended to provide better healthcare”: Interview with Piotr Orzechowski, CEO of Infermedica first appeared on EU-Startups.

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