Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SaaS supply-chain visibility start-up nets $10.5m

Steve Rogerson
September 27, 2016
 
Project44, a Chicago-based enterprise cloud company providing supply chain visibility and connectivity, has closed a $10.5m Series A investment of growth capital to fuel product innovation.
 
The round was led by Silicon Valley-based Emergence Capital, an enterprise-focused venture firm specialising in B2B cloud applications with a portfolio of high-growth companies including Salesforce, Veeva Systems and Box. Venture firm Chicago Ventures co-led the financing with participation from Silicon Valley Bank.
 
Project44 delivers a SaaS (software as a service) network of web service APIs that facilitate real-time information flow between global supply chain partners. Over the past two years, the technology company has focused on capturing critical mass in the $37bn less-than-truckload (LTL) sector.
 
With this investment and LTL proof of concept in place, The company plans to expand its focus into new transportation modes – initially truckload, final kilometre and intermodal – and address additional data intelligence and analytics opportunities for the global supply chain.
 
“By eliminating the supply chain’s reliance on poor performing, pre-internet legacy communication systems like electronic document interchange or static rate tables, and transitioning the industry to web service APIs, we are empowering big box retailers, ecommerce businesses and their logistics providers to deliver goods in the shortest timeframe possible with the highest level of transparency and operational efficiency,” said Jett McCandless, Project44 CEO and co-founder. “Thanks to our partners at Emergence Capital, Chicago Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank, we will be able to fulfil our mission at an even larger scale, accelerating our ability to expand the API platform.”
 
The changing on-demand commerce landscape has made the need for visibility into supply chain networks a requirement for success.
 
“Now, more than ever, the global supply chain needs to implement best-in-class SaaS products to support consumers’ rapidly evolving purchasing behaviour and expectations for on-demand, transparent services,” said Joe Floyd, principal at Emergence Capital. “As demonstrated by their dramatic growth rate and high level of customer satisfaction, Project44 has emerged as the undeniable industry leader, driving the supply chain towards true end-to-end visibility and real-time connectivity.”
 
Project44 has growing network of more than 1000 multi-modal transportation APIs, and more than 2.1m daily API transactions. Its 400 per cent year-over-year growth in customer count covers big box retailers, ecommerce businesses, manufacturers, third party logistics firms and transportation carriers, including Odyssey, Worldwide Express, Estes, Venus Group and BlueGrace Logistics. It captured 99.9 per cent of the LTL capacity during proof of concept phase.
 
“Project44 fits with our mission of investing in local, visionary companies driving much needed innovation,” said Stuart Larkins, co-founder of Chicago Ventures. “Their team brings a unique blend of domain and tech experience that could only be found in Chicago, a key transportation hub for more than 150 years and home to one of the fasting growing tech and start-up communities. We are pleased to partner with them as they leverage their roots to grow into a global leader.”