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Supply Chain Tech Provider Project44 Secures $420 Million

Supply chain visibility is at unprecedented demand levels among retailers and shipping and logistics companies due to the ongoing disruption at sea, in the air and on the ground, and investors are reacting in kind.

Project44, a software platform specializing in supply chain visibility, received a $420 million funding round, marking the company’s third major investment of over $100 million since December 2020. In total, the technology provider has raised $817.5 million, and is now valued at $2.2 billion.

The latest round positions Project44 to accelerate its mission to help brands optimize the movement of products across supply chains, and deliver better resiliency, sustainability and value for their customers. The company plans to nearly double its investment in product and engineering in 2022 to improve its real-time visibility across more modes of transportation in more regions.

Over the coming year, Project44 plans to hire more than 400 more employees in China, Europe, Latin America, North America and Japan.

“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 and the competitive edge we can provide to our customers,” said Jett McCandless, founder and CEO of Project44 in a statement. ​“With ongoing support from our investors, we can offer even more value to our customers and solidify our position as the global network that powers the future of the supply chain.”

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Project44 says it offers “the largest carrier network of any supply chain visibility provider” with more than 142,732 multimodal carrier integrations and 2.7 million trucks. The platform supports all transportation modes and shipping types, including air, parcel, last-mile, less-than-truckload, volume less-than-truckload, groupage, truckload, rail, intermodal and ocean.

The technology is built to help companies see how their shipments are moving through distribution networks and to help adjust in case of bottlenecks or changes in market demands. The company’s platform uses API technologies and other integrations to collect information from numerous freight transportation and logistics providers and put it into a format that retailers, manufacturers and other shippers can use.

The tech provider says it tracks more than 1 billion products annually across its transportation modes. The company now generates more than $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) from its clients, and has already landed $12.7 million of newly booked ARR in its fourth quarter.

Thoma Bravo, TPG and Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the investment, with participation from Emergence Capital, Insight Partners, Chicago Ventures, Generation Investment Management, Sapphire and Sozo Ventures.

The latest round comes after a holiday season where sales demand was pulled forward in November amid consumer awareness of the supply chain concerns. But retailers now have to contend with an uncertain 2022, in which no one is really sure when the bottlenecks will simmer down. Even Josh Brazil, vice president of supply chain insights at Project44, said in September that the port congestion and heightened freight rates could be a “multi-year problem.”

The long-term supply chain ramifications make a company like Project44 all the more valuable, particularly since it covers ground across so many areas of transportation.

“Project44 has been scaling at an impressive pace, executing decisively on its vision of a global end-to-end supply chain visibility platform. Supply chain visibility has become a critical technology to solving large-scale problems in the world today, and Project44 has emerged as the global market leader,” said Malte Janzarik, partner at TPG in a statement. ​“The breadth of data Project44 offers and ease of access for shippers, logistics providers and carriers are unmatched. We believe that Project44’s next-gen platform and highly valuable network will continue to drive tremendous growth.”

Project44 sought expansion through the acquisition route in 2021, scooping up ocean freight intelligence provider Ocean Insights and another AI-based supply chain visibility technology provider, ClearMetal. The company then entered the last-mile delivery space in September with its $255 million acquisition of delivery experience management platform Convey.

Ahead of the Convey deal, Project44 raised $202 million from Goldman Sachs to accelerate its expanded multimodal carrier network, expand artificial intelligence (AI) and data science capabilities, accelerate new product innovation and bolster sales and marketing reach globally. The company also sought to expand further into Asian markets. Insight Partners led the $100 million Series D round in December 2020.

Shippers and logistics providers across industries may partner with Project44 with various goals in mind. Not only are they looking to better navigate increasingly complex supply chains, but they also might want to improve sustainability efforts, build more resilient transportation modules and ultimately meet the evolving demands of their customers.

Project44 supports partners than 1,000 organizations across industries including retail and shipping giants such as Amazon, Dollar General, FedEx, Walgreens and The Home Depot, as well as freight forwarder Kuehne & Nagel.

The company has added 117 customers since the third quarter, contributing to a year-over-year bookings increase of 170 percent and annual customer growth of 216 percent.

In addition to new business wins, net retention for 2021 is at 133 percent, while annualized gross retention was 96 percent. Project44 has a subscription gross margin of 70 percent, which is up 3 percent year over year.

In the announcement, the supply chain visibility company touted some of its recent wins among industry analysts, in that it ranked No. 1 in the FreightWaves FreightTech 25, named a “Customer’s Choice” in Gartner’s Voice of the Customer report for real-time visibility platforms and named a leader in G2’s Fall Grid Report for supply chain visibility software.