IoT News

CargoSense secures $8M in Series A funding

June 13, 2024

Posted by: Magda Dabrowska

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CargoSense, the ‘Visibility OS’ platform for driving transformative supply chain automation using visibility data, has announced an initial close on an US$8 million Series A investment round, led by Lanza techVentures.

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (MGHIF) joined the round as an investor, along with Chicago-based venture firm SmoothBrain, channel partner The Pallet Alliance and other previous private investors in CargoSense.

The investment will enable CargoSense to execute on expanding its partner ecosystem of integrated management systems, data sources and industrial IIoT platforms available to digital agents running on the Visibility OS. This will empower CargoSense’s global customers with the tools to automate and simplify additional aspects of their supply chain operations.

“The broad application of CargoSense’s Visibility OS is significant and destined to completely change warehouse distribution and supply chain operations,” said Lucio Lanza, the managing partner of Lanza techVentures.

The freight tech landscape continues to grow, and so have the complexities involved with incorporating new innovations into the technology stacks that supply chain teams depend on. CargoSense customers use the Visibility OS to get their supply chain systems – IIoT data sources, real-time transportation visibility platforms, risk analysis platforms and the customer’s systems of record – all working as a unified stack through their customised digital agents running on the platform. This unique approach to integrations enables not just the flow of data, but the automation of contextual analysis and execution across any supply chain function and the operation of exception management workflows at scale.

“Buyers of visibility data and related supply chain technologies for manufacturers and distributors all share an expectation: that it will reduce workloads for their supply chain teams,” said Richard Kilmer, the founder and CEO of CargoSense. “The reality is frequently the opposite, where there’s a large gap between new technology and their day-to-day operations, and people bridge the gap with additional manual effort and process complexity. CargoSense is on a mission to simplify supply chain operations for any organisation, but especially those with significant scale, and we thank our new and existing investors for their confidence in our team and our approach to accomplishing that mission through automation.”

Recent growth at CargoSense has earned the company a place on the Financial Times’ list of The Americas Fastest Growing Companies for 2024, and back-to-back appearances on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies for 2022 and 2023.

Pharmaceutical-grade automation, available to any industry

The demands on the supply chain teams within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries come from a wide range of sources – including regulatory compliance, GxP quality management concerns and logistics vendor management. Many teams throw lots of time and manual effort in analysis and decision making against these concerns, but CargoSense customers in this space are reducing this burden through targeted, reliable and highly-available automation on the Visibility OS.

The supply chain team at Merck is responsible for thousands of parcel shipments each day, and worked with CargoSense to automate analysis of their parcel programme, in order to catch delivery problems in real time, and optimise decisions around distribution and packaging at the individual parcel level. The initial results led to an investment from the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, to accelerate CargoSense’s efforts in bringing impactful automation to supply chains across the pharmaceutical industry and fuel expansion into new markets.

“Expanded automation and application of powerful emerging technologies offers tremendous promise to improve supply chain strength and efficiency,” said Joe Volpe, the managing director, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, who will join CargoSense’s board. “We are excited to explore opportunities that the predictive and autonomous features of the CargoSense offerings may provide to enable and optimise biopharmaceutical operations.”

Bringing automated agents from the cloud to the edge

CargoSense had its beginnings in using IIoT, and their customers today are using the Visibility OS to drive automation with device data. Their automated agents handle a diverse set of responsibilities that reduce manual workloads – from updating orders in SAP and releasing payments in real time when an order has been fully delivered, to monitoring progress and detecting divergences from the plan for a shipment and raising contextualised exceptions for global logistics teams.

“Through our experiences assisting supply chain teams in getting maximum value from IIoT deployments in warehousing and logistics, we’ve found a consistent pain point in the ability to configure complex behaviours on the devices themselves,” said Kilmer. “Having to backhaul data from IIoT devices before any analysis can be performed is a drain on battery life and data plans. To address this problem, we’ve begun partnering with device vendors to explore tighter integrations between our Visibility OS and device firmware, bringing digital agents out of the cloud and on to the edge.”

Lead investor Lanza techVentures values the initiative between CargoSense and a semiconductor company in the Lanza techVentures portfolio, which prompted its investment to accelerate these efforts.

“We have long invested in silicon-based technologies that could revolutionise what’s possible with embedded devices and IIoT,” said Michael McNamara of Lanza techVentures, who will also join CargoSense’s board. “CargoSense’s Visibility OS, which targets automating the US$10-trillion supply chain and logistics marketplace, paired with our portfolio company’s innovative hardware solutions will more rapidly unlock the business value of pervasive IIoT and its potential to redefine entire industries.”

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