Modern brands need a modern approach to supply chains, and when former Apple global supply manager Rodney Manzo didn’t see anything on the market that met his requirements for end-to-end digitized production and logistics visibility, he built the solution himself.
Now, Manzo’s startup Anvyl has raised a $9.3 million Series A round to advance a production hub for digitally native brands and others looking to simplify their supply chains. Redpoint Ventures led the funding round, and existing investors First Round Capital and Company Ventures also participated. The startup has raised $11.8 million since it launched in 2017.
In a nutshell, Anvyl offers brands a production hub that centralizes supplier management, lets them oversee every step of production and track in-depth product data from procurement through delivery. It’s available through a cloud-based SaaS model and monthly subscription for turnkey flexibility and integrates to a brand’s other software systems through APIs or EDI.
Anvyl help brands know what’s going on with their supply chains without spending so much time overseas conducting factory visits.
“I spent two-plus years at Apple going to China and Japan, every month to two months,” the founder and CEO told Sourcing Journal. It’s a different story for the startup’s clients, who don’t need to circle the globe quite so often.
Anvyl clients can largely skip the trips to Asia (or wherever their factories are) because suppliers upload pictures, videos, drawings and other rich documentation to the production hub “so it’s almost like they’re in the factory, seeing the quality and the production that’s going on,” Manzo explained. “It’s like they’re there already.”
With all of the technology available today, time-intensive international trips are probably not the best way for brands to spend their resources when they should be focused on making great product. “If you have suppliers that you’re not sure of, and you need to go check on them, that’s probably a bigger problem,” Manzo said. “We’re making an interface where the need to go constantly back and forth to countries should be greatly reduced.”
Though many of Anvyl’s clients are digitally native consumer packaged goods brands like Harry’s, deodorant startup Native and feminine hygiene products maker Lola, Manzo said the company works with a handful of apparel brands including two “pretty big ones.” Anvyl enlisted Launchmetrics to move physical fashion samples around the world for fit testing and other purposes, he added.
Clients range from P&G down to SMBs, Manzo said, though Anvyl’s sweet spot is the mid-market player. Verticals also include home, food and beverage, raw materials, and personal care.
Brands on Anvyl can take advantage of a “curated sourcing platform” listing pre-vetted suppliers that meet certain criteria around social responsibility, operations, quality and finance, though they’re also welcome to plug in their own vendor data to their production hub.
Manzo said Anvyl is for brands trying to wrangle supply chains using a tangle of spreadsheets and freemium software that can’t scale along with their rapid growth. It competes to some extent with software giants like SAP, Oracle and Infor “that have some facet of what we’re doing,” he added.
As a hub where multiple users within a brand have access to the same information, Anvyl helps ensure that no one person “owns” supply chain data so that one worker’s two-week vacation means a nightmare for the rest of the team.
Anvyl leverages its economies of scale to help brands source the most cost-effective suppliers. Its bottoms-up cost analysis uses technology to compare every raw material, production step, direct and indirect labor, machine rate cycle time yields and other factors to identify a per-product “sure cost.”
The company is focused on adding new features to help brands “see around corners,” Manzo said, and give clients active rather than passive insights and information. “We know lead times, we know ordering rates, we can do recommendations,” he said. “If you’re manually doing things, you wouldn’t know that you’re going to miss a shipment window or miss when you’re going to need it in a distribution center.
“Those are the things we’re going toward,” Manzo added.
Insights into production hiccups can add up to big savings. Brands can spend a lot of money expediting shipments that missed a manufacturing deadline, wreaking havoc on financial forecasts.
Roughly half of Anvyl’s 31-strong workforce are professionals in data science, engineering and product design ago and their latest new feature set will go live later this month. Customers have been asking for smart segments, Manzo said, seeking greater traceability around split or incomplete shipments.
Beyond that, Anvyl has big plans to enhance its supplier marketplace with more robust RFQ functionality. Rather than just allowing vendors to push this information to the Anvyl marketplace, the update will enable suppliers to “quote out to the world,” Manzo said.
For now Anvyl operates in English only, though Manzo said the company would like to support additional languages to aid international suppliers who might not be native English speakers. Some users have found a workaround to language challengers by using the notes section on a purchase order to include comments in the vendor’s native language, for example.
Anvyl takes its name from the familiar metalworking tool perhaps best known to a certain generation from Looney Tunes cartoons. But the “y” substituted for the “i” is a play on bringing together a brand and supplier and making them one united force, Manzo noted.
“We want to bridge the gap between what happens in the factories and what’s happening with these brands wherever they are in the world,” he said.