BIFA bites back at 'rubbish' prophecies of forwarders' death-by-tech
Digital disruptors will no more kill-off today’s forwarding sector than the advent of European rail ...
Investors are continuing to back innovation in logistics, with at least three new companies receiving funding this week.
ClearMetal, which offers a “Continuous Delivery Experience” (CDX) platform, has received $15m from Palo Alto-based Eclipse Ventures in a funding round, bringing its total capital investment to $31m.
The company saw 400% revenue growth last year, doubled its workforce and added offices in New York, Chicago, Houston, London and Switzerland.
It says its platform gives customers an “Amazon-like digital experience in global freight transportation”, using proprietary machine learning “which helps customers continuously improve their delivery processes by enriching supply chain data”.
Adam Compain, chief executive of ClearMetal, added: “The global supply chain is suffering from billions of dollars of inefficiency as a result of not having the intelligence needed to handle the scope and complexity of today’s data.”
Lior Susan, founding partner of Eclipse Ventures, said: “ClearMetal is leading the development of a truly intelligent supply chain solution. The only way to solve an evolving supply chain is with a continuous methodology.”
Meanwhile, Envoy Group, a London supply chain and trade finance company using blockchain, has received $13m from Alcedo Digital Ventures.
Envoy focuses on Latin American trade and said the cash injection would allow it to process “significantly greater trade volumes and launch new functionality”.
Envoy uses blockchain technologies to bring efficiencies to the global supply chain and trade finance. Its platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with legacy data systems and all third-party blockchains, enabling buyers and sellers, to manage global trade logistics, and to find new funding sources.
The smart contracts “are perfectly suited to automate many of the core workflows of global trade as well as using the stellar-based NVOY token for instant tokenised cross border payments”.
Lee Tarone, founder and chief executive of Envoy, said: “Our platform is designed to make trade so much simpler for all market participants. We intend to close the $1.5 trillion funding gap by connecting capital with companies that need it to trade. Small and medium-sized businesses around the world are desperately in need of funds to grow their businesses and to fulfil their potential.
“Global trade remains reliant on paper – slow, prone to error and unnecessarily expensive. We use blockchain technologies to cut through these archaic processes to offer a digital trading environment and instant, low-cost and optimum governance.”
Also, three-year old fine art specialist and digital forwarder Convelio has raised $9m in a financing round, following a year in which its turnover rose 300%.
“For too long, fine art shipping has been a frustrating experience, yet it represents the third-largest spending category of sellers in the art market. With this additional funding, we will double down on client acquisition, product development and our global expansion,” said Convelio co-founders Edouard Gouin and Clément Ouizille.
“In 2020, Convelio will open a new office in New York and start exploring other market segments where our expertise in shipping bulky, valuable and fragile items can be leveraged. Our vision is to become the leading tech-enabled freight-forwarder for specialty goods.”
Convelio focuses on high-value and non-palletised goods with values typically ranging from €5,000 to €1m. Its dispatch algorithm considers various parameters such as fragility, dimensions and value to assemble the most appropriate value-chain for each artwork. By the end of 2020, Convelio is projecting to triple its turnover again, mostly through large-scale partnerships.