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Project44, a platform that gives shippers and logistics companies big data-driven insights into their supply chain, has raised $202 million in a series E round of funding at a $1.2 billion valuation.
Founded in 2014, Chicago-based Project44 integrates with myriad data sources, including telematics, electronic logging devices (ELDs), and even the weather, to provide predictive tracking and estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) — the various data integrations allow Project44 customers such as Amazon, Nestle, General Mills, and Nordstrom to garner a real-time picture of when their products are expected to arrive based on current conditions.
However, ETAs are really just the tip of the iceberg. Project44 allows companies to track shipments at a granular order or SKU level, which can help them better manage their inventory and reduce the chances of having an item go out of stock. Elsewhere, Project44 enables condition and temperature monitoring for shipments that rely on specific conditions to avoid spoilage, for example, and it also serves up analytics to “uncover exceptions before they happen,” with insights such as pickup and delivery delays, carrier benchmarking, and more.
Predicting the unpredictable
The Suez Canal blockage debacle from earlier this year — when a container ship became wedged after it was blown off course by a gust of wind — is a good example of how events outside the direct control of shippers and logistics companies can cause billions of dollars worth of damage. These are the types of incidents Project44 was built to circumvent.
“Over the last year, Project44 has helped customers to mitigate relentless volatility, bottlenecks, and logistics breakdowns — including the Suez Canal incident — where customers relied on Project44 for real-time visibility into critical events and downstream supply chain disruptions,” Project44 chief growth officer Jason Duboe told VentureBeat.
Project44 had previously raised around $190 million, including a $100 million tranche announced less than six months ago, and with its latest series E investment — spearheaded by Goldman Sachs Asset Management — the company is well-financed to double down on global growth as its customers seek new ways to expand internationally. Part of this effort will target China, specifically, though other markets will be on the company’s radar, and it’s also looking to bolster its machine learning smarts to help automate workflows.
“Project44 has hit a major inflection point in the last six months — both our organic and inorganic growth has accelerated as the visibility market matures,” Duboe said. “In addition, global expansion has become more of a focus for our customers — finding a partner that could help drive growth in Asia pacific was key. Our customers are demanding more data, more analytics, and more advanced use cases — our investment in machine learning and data science solutions will accelerate as we continue to unlock deeper insights and value for our customers.”
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