In the pandemic era of freight disruption, supply chain visibility has become a big business, as shown by the latest valuation for logistics tech startup project44. In its latest funding round, Goldman Sachs, Thoma Bravo, TPG, and a range of venture capital funds bought equity shares in the business for $420 million, adding to the $200 million funding round the startup completed in May 2021. The transaction values project44 at $2.2 billion, nearly twice the $1.2 billion valuations it achieved eight months ago - and for good reason, as Q4 sales were up 170 percent year-on-year.
“Today, project44 is helping companies solve supply chain challenges ranging from inflationary pressure and lockdowns to unpredictable weather and bottlenecks at ports. Our growth over the past year speaks to these macroeconomic tailwinds” said Jett McCandless, the founder, and CEO of project44.
Eight years after its founding, project44 generates more than $100 million in annual recurring revenue, making it the largest company of its kind. It booked $13 million of that total in the fourth quarter alone, adding another 117 companies to its customer base. The biggest users include Amazon, FedEx, The Home Depot, Unilever, General Mills, and Baker Hughes, among many others.
The company's core product is a cloud-based tracking service for shipments, capable of following containers from origin to destination. Shippers get real-time data on sailing schedules, delays, exceptions, and (according to the company) the best automated ETA predictions available - all valuable information for the highly unpredictable ocean freight industry. Once the load arrives in port and gets onto a chassis, the company can track it to its final destination using ELD/telematics data.
“Supply chain visibility has become increasingly important as shortages, delays and bottlenecks ramp up. project44’s potential to solve even the most complex of these issues is unparalleled,” said Robert Sayle, partner at Thoma Bravo, a leading software private equity company and one of the investors in project44's latest round.