Investors pour $8.6 billion into supply chain tech startups

Investors 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 data from PitchBook.

Why is it important: Amid Global Supply Chain Disruptions and Rising Last-Mile Delivery Costs, Emerging Technologies Can Help “Improve Visibility, Manage Supplier Diversity, and Improve Decision-Making,” Says PitchBook .

  • Investment in supply chain technology is down about 40% from 2021, reflecting a broader market pullback, PitchBook notes.

By the numbers: Last-mile delivery saw $3.8 billion invested in 38 deals in the second quarter.

  • Enterprise supply chain management had the second highest deal value at $1.5 billion, but was third in total deals at 21, behind warehousing technology (23).
  • Freight tech had the fewest deals with 13, but ranked third in overall value with $746.4 million.
  • Global logistics spending was $9 trillion, or about 11% of global GDP in 2020, according to Statista.

What they say : “Building resilience has become the primary concern,” says PitchBook, becoming more of a business priority 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 entered into a partnership to create a new package tracking platform. The company recently raised $30 million in June and last year closed a $100 million Series D funding round led by Thomas H. Lee Partners.
  • Earlier this year, supply chain visibility platform Project44 raised $420 million in equity and debt in a Series F funding round led by TPG, Thoma Bravo and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Yes and: With Amazon, Walmart, Google and UPS launching pilot programs to test drone delivery capabilities, interest has also spurred a number of competitors, according to PitchBook.

  • Airspace Link, a drone safety software and data platform for pilots, businesses and local governments, has 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 GPS, has raised $10 million from partner Kaman Corp.

To note : Big tech giants are also entering the fray.

  • Google Cloud introduced a supply chain service last September, allowing businesses to create a digital “twin” of their physical supply chains.

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