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Exclusive: Centro raises $2M seed to reduce supply chain headaches

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Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Centro, an inventory operations platform, raised a $2 million seed to alleviate brands' inventory challenges, CEO Jamyang Tenzin tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The pandemic brought supply chain issues to the fore.

  • There are market components available now that weren't before such as APIs, making it the opportune time to receive this investment, Tenzin says.

Details: The round was co-led by Ripple Ventures and 2048 Ventures.

  • Valia Ventures and Comma Capital participated.
  • In addition to a more accommodative environment for supply chain tech, its team and its thesis is what really compelled investors, Tenzin says.

How it works: Centro's tools enable brands to condense their inventory, procurement and risk management into a central hub.

  • Centro, based in Toronto, is building an operating system around brands' inventory that acts like a "control center," so that parts of the supply chain are more interconnected, visible and easier to configure.
  • Tenzin describes it as "connective tissue between the different pieces of your supply chain for e-commerce brands."

What they're saying: "We're listening to different signals in inventory or purchase orders... [and we can say,] this thing is going to be out of stock earlier than you expect," Tenzin says.

  • Companies are still using spreadsheets and emails, "trying to reconcile inventory, update numbers across the different systems, manage workflow, understand what inventory sets were, what's in purchase orders," Tenzin says.
  • "Functions don't talk to one another and on top of that, it doesn't speak in the way that they [the brands] see the world," Tenzin adds.

Context: Though VC activity in supply chain tech declined in Q2, deal value increased 12.5% from the previous quarter, signifying there are still deals to be had albeit in select places, according to PitchBook data.

What's next: The company plans to use the funds to expand its offerings to include forecasting and procurement automation.

  • Centro will be investing in building its core workflows as well as in more assistive technologies that would add an intelligence layer.
  • The next phase of the company will be to create a recurrent growth channel, Tenzin says.
  • The company's goal is to be "the backbone of how most brands into the top eight figures manage their inventory and supply chain by default."
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