Prewave pulls in $20M as supply chain tech investments remain on VC radarsReading Time: 3 minutes
Despite the investor caution narrative permeating the startup world throughout the economic downturn, certain startup-types have been a little more impervious to market conditions. The global supply chain was one of the major industrial casualties of the pandemic, so it perhaps goes without saying that companies tackling issues related to the global supply chain would remain an alluring proposition for otherwise hesitant venture capitalists.
In the past couple of months alone, we’ve seen Germany-based IntegrityNext ingest $109 million to help companies audit their supply chains for ESG (environmental, social, and governance) compliance; Texas-based Overhaul haul in $73 million for a supply chain security platform; San Marcos-based Everstream secure $50 million to bring predictive insights to supply chains; France’s Sesamm snap up $37 million to give corporates ESG insights into their supply chain; and India’s Pando pull in $30 million to grow its freight management platform.
Today, it’s Prewave‘s turn to demonstrate that the global supply chain is still one of the hottest tickets for raising VC bucks. The Austrian startup revealed that it has raised €18 million ($20 million) in what it’s calling a Series A+ round of funding, following on from its €11 million ($12.3 million) Series A round eight months ago.
For its latest cash injection, Prewave has also attracted European VC heavyweight Creandum, which has previously backed the likes of Spotify, Klarna, and iZettle.
Founded out of Vienna in 2017 by Harald Nitschinger and Lisa Smith, Prewave touts itself as a holistic supply chain risk platform that spans ‘every phase of the risk lifecycle,’ through identifying, analyzing, mitigating, and reporting these risks.
For example, companies such as BMW, Lufthansa, and PwC use Prewave to monitor every entity in their supply chain via channels such as social media, news reports, and other data sources to understand not only what is happening within companies in their supply chain, but also externalities such as earthquakes, floods, political unrest, lawsuits, or worker strikes — anything that could impact the global transfer of goods.
The company says it has developed its own proprietary ‘crawler’ that finds publicly available information across dozens of languages.
Prewave then crunches all the data and delivers a dynamic supplier risk score that changes in line with all the new data it ingests.
Supply (chain) and demand
There are a number of reasons why demand for supply chain insights is skyrocketing, beyond simply improving their bottom line by averting disruptions. These include legal obligations, for example Germany recently passed a new supply chain due diligence law that makes it the responsibility of large companies to track human rights violations and environmental risks through their supply chain. A similar directive is currently being proposed for the broader European Union (EU) too.
And then there is the simple fact that consumers increasingly expect the companies they do business with to have at least some moral and ethical principles, and aren’t purely beholden to shareholder sentiment.
With another $20 million in the bank, Prewave is planning to double down on a recent growth that has seen its headcount grow from 20 employees at the start of last year to more than 100 today, which Nitschinger says ‘mirrors the substantial revenue increase’ it has seen over the same period.
Aside from lead backer Creandum, Prewave’s latest investment included contributions from Ventech, Kompas, Seed+Speed, Segnalita, Speedinvest, Working Capital Fund and Xista Science Ventures.
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