Supply chain tech investors focused on the last mile
Investors have poured some $8.6 billion into supply chain tech startups in the second quarter, with last-mile delivery seeing the largest inflows, according to new PitchBook data.
Why it matters: Amid global supply chain disruptions and increasing costs of the last mile of delivery, emerging technology can help "enhance visibility, manage supplier diversity and improve decision making,” PitchBook says.
- Investment in supply chain tech is down roughly 40% from 2021, reflective of a broader market pullback, PitchBook notes.
By the numbers: Last-mile delivery saw $3.8 billion invested across 38 deals in Q2.
- Enterprise supply chain management had the second-highest value of deals at $1.5 billion, but was third overall in deal count at 21, behind warehousing tech (23).
- Freight tech had the fewest deals at 13, but ranked third in overall value at $746.4 million.
- Global logistics spending was $9 trillion, or about 11% of global GDP in 2020, according to Statista.
What they're saying: “Building resiliency has emerged as the key concern,” PitchBook says, becoming more of a focus for companies rather than trying to maximize efficiency.
State of play: PitchBook highlighted two emerging segments to watch: supply chain visibility platforms and last-mile drone airspace management and infrastructure.
- In June, FedEx invested in logistics software startup FourKites and struck a partnership to build a new package tracking platform. The company recently raised $30 million in June and closed a $100 million Series D round led by Thomas H. Lee Partners last year.
- Earlier this year, supply chain visibility platform Project44 raised $420 million in equity and debt in a Series F round led by TPG, Thoma Bravo and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Yes and: With Amazon, Walmart, Google and UPS launching pilot programs to try out drone delivery capabilities, the interest has also spurred a number of competitors, PitchBook says.
- Airspace Link, a drone safety software and data platform for pilots, businesses and local governments, raised $23 million in a Series B led by Avanta Ventures.
- Near Earth Autonomy, a developer of sensors and systems for low-altitude autonomous flight with or without a GPS, raised $10 million from corporate partner Kaman Corp.
Of note: Major tech giants are also entering the fray.
- Google Cloud introduced a supply chain service last September, allowing companies to build a digital “twin” of their physical supply chains.