Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

FourKites raises $13m to deliver smart logistics

Steve Rogerson
October 25, 2016



Chicago start-up FourKites has raised $13m in a series A funding round to enable smart trucking using real-time logistics connectivity.
 
FourKites says it has produced a breakthrough platform for real-time shipment visibility. The funding round was led by Bain Capital Ventures.
 
The company previously raised $3.5m in seed and debt funding, bringing total funding for the two-year-old company to $16.5m. Existing investors Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, HBS Angels and Otter also participated in this round.
 
The technology uses mobile, cloud and analytics software to provide real-time load tracking across more than 2.5 million lorries, helping improve supply chain efficiency for shippers that spend as much as five per cent of sales and 33 per cent of profits on transportation.
 
The platform uses proprietary technology and a network of more than 45 partnerships with GPS-enabled electronic logging device (ELD) providers. The US Department of Transportation has mandated the use of ELDs in commercial trucking by the end of 2017.
 
“Logistics is an industry primed for disruption," said Mathew Elenjickal, founder and CEO of FourKites. “We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Bain Capital Ventures as we execute on our vision to provide real-time visibility and connectivity across the logistics industry. Transforming any industry comes with regulatory and execution challenges. There is no one better than BCV and Ajay Agarwal to guide us in executing on our vision and building an iconic company.”
 
Ajay Agarwal is managing director of Bain Capital Ventures. He added: “Supply chain efficiency has become paramount for every kind of business, and we’re excited to help Matt and FourKites realise their ambitious yet achievable vision. FourKites has marquee customers achieving impressive results, boosting on-time performance from the low 90 per cent range to 97 to 98 per cent, which translates into less wait time at warehouses, lower stock-outs, faster inventory turns and, most importantly, happier customers.”
 
Founded in 2014, FourKites has already built a client roster that includes global enterprises such as three of the top ten food manufacturers in the USA, two of the top five food distributors, one of the largest specialty apparel retailers, one of the largest office supply chain stores, and three of the top ten logistics service providers.
 
These companies have deployed the system to get arrival times, real-time status and proactive alerts for all their active shipments. Sharing that information with internal and external stakeholders throughout the supply chain, customers have drastically reduced the hours and dollars spent on disjointed communications and delayed updates.
 
This is not BCV’s first foray into disrupting the supply chain ecosystem. The firm was an early investor in Kiva Systems, which automated e-commerce distribution centres through a combination of autonomous robots, mobile shelving and software. Kiva was acquired by Amazon in 2012 for $775m. Agarwal, who led Bain’s Kiva investment, will be joining the FourKites board of directors.
 
FourKites said the funding would be used to integrate more data sources into its tracking platform, expand internationally, and cover additional transportation modes such as LTL, rail, intermodal and ocean. In addition to investing in the core platform, FourKites is also building applications that harness the rich data its platform collects to drive efficiency in customers’ supply chain operations. It is also looking to add more than 100 jobs in Chicago in the coming year.