Logistics have rarely stolen the spotlight. Consumers and businesses want the things they purchased to be on the shelf or in an online store and arrive when they need it, regardless of how it gets to where it’s going.
But venture capitalists know that logistics is a market ripe for some pretty cool innovation. PYMNTS breaks down the week’s VC investments in B2B startups, which saw nearly $100 million in backing across a range of sectors. SaaS may have seen the greatest single investment this week, but one logistics startup has the market chattering about its innovative approach.
[bctt tweet=”The week’s VC investments in B2B startups saw nearly $100 million in backing.”]
It’s only been a few weeks since SaaS firm CB Insights showed up in our investment roundups, but again the company made a splash, this time announcing $10 million in Series A financing from RSTP. The company provides businesses with data, research and predictive analytics services to fuel growth. The funding was revealed Monday (Nov. 9) while CB Insights also debuted enhanced services, including a new feature that provides predictive analytics to B2B sales teams.
SaaS is a hot area for VCs today, but backers showed their support this week for one startup that looks to help SaaS businesses manage their clients. Gainsight secured $50 million in Series D funding, reports said Thursday, led by Insight Venture Partners. While the company has emerged as a “customer success” company helping SaaS firms drive results, reports said that Gainsight is now looking to expand across a new range of industries — namely, any company that has a wide customer base.
Alternative lender CircleUp Network announced Wednesday (Nov. 11) that it snagged $30 million in Series C funding as venture capitalists moved to support the company’s service of linking investors with “anything but tech” startups. Collaborative Fund led the investment, reports said, which included backers QED Investors and others.
The platform is unique in that it sends potential investors product samples of companies looking to find funding. With a focus in the consumer goods sector, reports said CircleUp differentiates itself from rivals that connect accredited investors to startups looking for working capital.
This week, like many others, the B2B market saw new investment for on-demand B2B delivery service providers. But — surprise — the startup isn’t based in India. This time, Hong Kong-based Delivery Republic said it secured $2 million from Lap Man to fuel its platform, which provides major restaurants a delivery service.
The biggest splash this week, however, wasn’t in B2B delivery; it was in inventory.
Reports have heralded Flexe as the “Airbnb for warehousing,” but Flexe considers itself more like the logistics equivalent of what Amazon did for data storage. The startup provides companies with an online portal to access empty warehouse space when in need of last-minute storage. For warehouses, it’s a way to make money with space that would have otherwise gone unused.
It’s not hard to see the Airbnb connection. But for Flexe Cofounder and CEO Karl Siebrecht, the solution goes further than bringing convenience to businesses.
“We’ve built a highly sophisticated, yet easy-to-use platform that can dramatically improve warehousing efficiencies and ROI for organizations of any size,” he said in a statement Thursday (Nov. 12), when the company revealed a $4.4 million investment led by Fritz Lanman, Hank Vigil, Second Avenue Partners and SV Angel.
The executive added that with this backing, he’ll look to scale the on-demand warehousing tool as it catches on. “This new ‘spot market’ for warehousing services will enable new levels of flexibility and agility in supply chains across the globe,” Siebrecht stated.