Logistics visibility platform vendor project44 has raised $80 million in backing, less than a year after scoring nearly a half-billion dollars in venture capital, and says it will use the funds to drive initiatives including the measuring and mitigating of supply chain emissions across all modes of transportation.
Developing new capabilities will help the eight-year-old startup continue “on a glide path to profitability” as it navigates toward a goal of going public sometime in the future, a company executive said.
The latest money follows its “series F” funding round of $420 million in January, “series E” round of $202 million in 2021, and “series D” round of $100 million in 2020. The latest cash injection values the firm at a worth of some $2.7 billion, far over the $1 billion bar that investors use to gauge the successful firms nicknamed “unicorns.”
Today’s round was led by Generation Investment Management and Denmark’s A.P. Moller Holding. Container logistics giant CMA CGM also joined the round, alongside existing investors Goldman Sachs Asset Management, TPG, Emergence Capital, Chicago Ventures, Sapphire, 8VC, Sozo Ventures, and Omidyar Technology Ventures.
"When uncertainty from supply chain disruptions, inventory costs, and economic policy is at an all-time high, project44 continues to deliver lasting business value to our customers,” Jett McCandless, the founder & CEO of project44, said in a release. “This latest round of funding will accelerate our ability to connect all parties across the supply chain ecosystem and deliver the highest quality supply chain and emissions visibility data to our shipper, freight forwarder, and LSP customers.”
With the benefit of its generous financial backing, Chicago-based project44 has grown its market share in the supply chain visibility sector, and now counts more than 1,200 companies among its paying customers. The firm says those users gain access to data that can ensure on-time delivery of shipments, proactively address supply chain disruptions, and move goods more efficiently.
Despite its rich backing, project44 still defines itself as a “growth stage” firm that is trying to enter new markets, Jason Duboe, project44’s chief growth officer, said in an interview.
“To say our customers have been through a tumultuous two years of chaos and disruption would be the understatement of the year,” Duboe said, pointing to impacts such as pandemic port closures at the Chinese facilities of Shenzhen and Ningbo, the Suez Canal blockage, supply shocks and demand increases during covid shutdowns, and continuing capacity and labor shortages. “Now, many of them hope they can finally settle down and implement new software to drive the evolution of their business models in ways that many of their teams have been begging for.”
According to Duboe, project44 can enable them to reach that goal by unlocking the “silos” of data that have traditionally existed in the logistics sector. Companies will struggle to reach goals such as more sustainable supply chain operations until they can access information across diverse platforms such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management system (WMS), transportation management system (TMS), customer relationship management (CRM), and many others, he said.
As an example of how project44 can enable that vision, Duboe cited the firm’s new “Movement” product, an advanced visibility platform that he says gives shippers, freight forwarders, carriers, and logistics professionals a new way to see the complete supply chain.