CHICAGO, IL (Embargoed until September 12, 2016 ) – project44 , a Chicago-based enterprise cloud company providing industry leading supply chain visibility and connectivity, today announced the close of a $10.5 million Series A investment of growth capital to fuel product innovation. The round was led by Silicon Valley-based Emergence Capital , a top enterprise-focused venture firm specializing in B2B cloud applications with a portfolio of high-growth companies including Salesforce, Veeva Systems and Box. Chicago Ventures , a venture firm supported by many of the largest companies and influential business leaders in the Midwest, co-led the financing with participation from Silicon Valley Bank , the bank of the global innovation economy.
project44 delivers a SaaS (Software as a Service) network of web service APIs (Application Program Interfaces) 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 $37B Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) sector. With this investment and LTL proof of concept in place, project44 plans to expand its focus into new transportation modes – initially Truckload, Final Mile 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 (EDI) 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 fulfill 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 behavior 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 fits with our mission of investing in local, visionary companies driving much needed innovation,” said Stuart Larkins, Co-Founder and General Partner at 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 startup communities. We are pleased to partner with them as they leverage their roots to grow into a global leader.”
This funding news is delivered on the heels of the project44’s recent announcement indicating significant momentum, including:
· A fast-growing network of 1,000+ multi-modal transportation APIs, and more than 2.1M daily API transactions.
· 400% year-over-year growth in customer count — ranging from big box retailers, ecommerce businesses, manufacturers, third party logistics firms and transportation carriers, including Odyssey, Worldwide Express, Estes, Venus Group and BlueGrace Logistics.
· Captured 99.9% of the LTL capacity during proof of concept phase.
project44 will be showcasing their new channel partnerships and multi-mode API products at key industry events this month such as the MercuryGate International, Inc. User Conference (9/12 – 9/14) the McLeod Software User Conference (9/18 – 9/20) , and CSCMP’s Annual Conference (9/25 – 9/28) . MercuryGate CEO and Co-Founder Monica Wooden recently commented about their channel partnership with project44, “our integration partnership will make it easier for customers to obtain accurate quotes, including Volume LTL, and to access real time-tracking. These capabilities enable customers to reduce administrative costs. Both project44 and MercuryGate are committed to adding value for our mutual clients by providing a seamless experience that allows them to leverage a robust API solution.”
project44 ’s enterprise SaaS integration platform is powering the dynamic supply chain of the future through global, on-demand connectivity and visibility. With project44, retailers, ecommerce businesses, suppliers, 3PLs and trucking companies (LTL, TL, final mile) are able to communicate critical data with the rest of their supply chain in a synchronous, real-time manner.
About Emergence Capital:
Emergence Capital is a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm focusing on enterprise cloud and software as a service (SaaS) applications. As a leading cloud VC, Emergence partners with early and growth stage startups, particularly at the Series A and Series B stage. Emergence’s ambition is to be the most important partner to the visionaries developing the next generation of enterprise technology.
About Chicago Ventures:
Chicago Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in tech-enabled startups in Chicago and the Central region of the country. As former operators engaged in the Chicago community, the team taps this experience, along with its network of advisors and investors, to help its dozens of portfolio companies operate, execute and scale, hire the right talent, and connect with customers.
About Silicon Valley Bank:
For more than 30 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides targeted financial services and expertise through its offices in innovation centers around the world. With commercial, international and private banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators.