Big money counts. There’s no dearth of investment opportunities for holding companies in today’s global business climate. Established as well as newly-founded logistics enterprises are a part of the trend – as illustrated by two examples from the USA.
In these pandemic times astronomical investment sums and high stock market prices seem almost as natural as the ongoing accelerated trend towards digitalisation. Holding companies and investors are becoming more interested again in the – partially – booming logistics industry. The activities of the companies Project44 and Seko Logistics in the USA – no surprise there –can be named as one focal point for this.
Fresh USD 100 million raised
A Covid-19-induced push of digitalisation in the logistics industry is not something anyone in the sector wants to miss out on. Project44 has been able to secure USD 100 million in investor funds in a further financing round. Project44 is a provider of digital supply chain transparency services for shippers and logistics providers that was founded in 2014 and which has, in the meantime, already grown into a medium-sized enterprise.
The funds will be invested in the expansion of Project44’s multimodal carrier network, its so-called ‘Advanced Visibility Platform’ – or more specifically, in regional expansion in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia. In addition, funds will also be invested in product innovation, further partnerships and improved integration services.
Plenty of angels in the front row
The largest investor is now Insight Partners, but there are other well-known angels in the front row, such as 8VC, Emergence Capital, Omidyar Technology Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Sozo Ventures and Underscore VC.
First and foremost it was Project44’s rapid expansion that was convincing. In 2020, the enterprise acquired no less than 135 new customers worldwide, including renowned companies and corporations such as ABB, Alcon, Arcese, BSH Home Appliance, Flowserve, General Mills, Girteka Logistics, Ifco Systems, Magna International, Lenovo and Pepsico.
Jett McCandless, chief executive officer and founder of Project44, has ascertained a clear link to the outbreak of Covid-19. “Digital transformation to better understand and handle shipping delays and shipping status was already important before the pandemic started; now it’s actually a business imperative.” The message resonates with investors; Project44 has raised no less than approximately USD 241 million in funds since its inception six years ago.
North Carolina takes over from New York
Seko Logistics, in contrast, which is headquartered in Itasca IL (USA), has made a change in investors. The Greenbriar Equity Group, a private New York-based corporation that has been Seko’s main shareholder since 2015, has sold some of its shares in the entity – but remains on board as a minority investor. The shares of Seko, a global forwarder and 3PL, went to Ridgemont Equity Partners, an investor based in Charlotte NC.
The capital will be used to fund acquisitions, technology platforms and growth in key regions. The financial details of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Seko, which specialises in e-commerce and health product logistics as well as freight forwarding services, amongst others, was founded in 1976 and operates 120 offices in 40 countries.