“Today’s global supply chain is a highly fragmented industry that includes a sprawling ecosystem of disparate providers, each at different stages of technological maturity,” the report noted.
An earlier PitchBook report also found that VC investors pumped about $19.3 billion into the supply chain tech industry in 2018; in 2019, they invested $10.4 billion, nearly half of the previous year’s total, into North American and European supply chain tech startups alone.
- Helsinki-based Relex Solutions, which provides retail and supply chain planning solutions, raised $200 million in a late stage venture round on February 6–one of the industry’s largest in recent years.
- Seattle’s Convoy, a digital freight network, closed its Series D at $400 million, leading to a 118.6% valuation jump.
- Arizona-based logistics management firm GlobalTranz saw private equity owner The Jordan Company exit via buyout less than a year after acquiring it.
- Storage-tech company Clutter, headquartered in California, was the highest-valued VC-backed warehousing company in Q4.
- The report stated that “excluding Uber, last-mile delivery deal value has seen an upward trend over the past few years.” However, VC deal activity in 2019 saw a drop both in value and numbers as compared to the previous year.
- It also mentioned that the food delivery market is more appropriate for late-stage startups due to their advantages in scale and capital.
- The report noted that a higher number of supply chain tech startups raised funds in their first VC round in Q4 as compared to previous quarters.
- 64% of these startups (not counting acquisitions, buyouts, initial public offerings, or companies that shuttered) did not raise any further, perhaps because they became self-sustaining. This percentage is marginally lower than that of the previous two quarters.
While ecommerce posits profitable opportunities, leveraging them against the backdrop of disruptive global events such as the U.S.-China trade war, shortages in the labor market, and more recently, COVID-19, is tricky business. But going by the Pitchbook report, VCs are staying optimistic.