Supply chains need visibility and actionable data to improve efficiency and resilience, according to 7bridges. The London-based startup, which offers a proprietary logistics platform using artificial intelligence, yesterday announced that it has raised Series A funding of $17 million. 7bridges said it will use the investment to hire more staffers and develop its unique technology and data.
“Historically, businesses have been struggling to rewire their supplier and distribution networks,” said Philip Ashton, co-founder and CEO of 7bridges. “For years, they have been grappling with disconnected data, siloed and outdated technologies, and time-intensive manual processes.”
“The result is wasted time, resources, and money—up to 50% of logistics spend is squandered,” he wrote in a blog post. “A study by McKinsey & Co. found that 85% of supply chain executives pointed towards such inefficiencies in their digital technologies as a cause for concern.”
“At 7bridges, we are uniquely positioned to help businesses enhance and future-proof their supply chains in ways that are more sustainable, resilient, cost-effective, and efficient,” Ashton said.
Ashton previously worked at management consultancy Olivery Wyman and logistics provider World Courier. He as an M.S. from Cambridge University. His co-founder and 7bridges' chief product officer, Matei Beremski, worked in big data analysis and product management at BNP Paribas and IBM. He has an M.S. in mathematics from Oxford University.
7bridges offers supply chain insights
7bridges said some of the wrold's top e-commerce, retail, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing brands already use its customizable AI platform. LEO provides increased visibility into logistics and can orchestrate and execute operations across their supply chains, claimed the company.
“Our technology is now more important than ever before,” said Ashton. “In the last two years, global supply chain performance has been brought into sharp focus by the pandemic and has had a profound impact on people’s lives. However, while COVID may have exposed and accelerated supply chain fragilities, it was not the cause.”
7bridges said LEO enables businesses “to make coherent rapid and adaptive decisions across channels, product categories, geographies, and service providers.” The company claimed that it can “transform multiple elements of the supply chain,” from planning to execution, inbound and outbound logistics, inventory optimization, and the customer experience.
“This latest funding round will help us achieve our mission of using transformational technologies to enable supply chains that are customer-centric, resilient to disruption, more cost-effective, help to decrease waste, improve access to goods worldwide, and, ultimately, autonomous,” Ashton said. “We’re looking forward to working with many more businesses in the coming months as they upgrade their logistics technology from the status quo.”
Eight Roads, Maersk invest in transformation
Eight Roads led 7bridges' Series A round, with additional investment from Maersk Growth and support from existing investors Local Globe and Crane.
“Almost every shipper is facing significant supply chain challenges from rising costs and a changing regulatory environment and lacks the tools and know-how to navigate them,” said Davor Hebel, managing partner and head of Eight Roads Europe. “7bridges is creating a new category of value optimization software for logistics, which has historically only been a service available to the largest shippers from consultants. We are incredibly excited to partner with the 7bridges team as they look to scale the business.”
Eight Roads manages $8 billion of assets across offices in the U.K., China, India, Japan, and the U.S. The venture capital firm and its associated funds have a history of more than 50 years and investments in more than 300 companies such as Alibaba, Chewy, Devoted Health, Made.com, Pony.ai, Toast, and WuXi PharmaTech.
7bridges added that it is partnering with Maersk Growth to combine its specialized AI and Maersk's global logistics network and data for predictive analysis and more informed decision making.
“The last two years have drawn supply chains directly into the commercial spotlight,” said Oliver Finch, investment partner at Maersk Growth. “There is an urgent need to innovate in the sector and maintain access to goods we rely on.”
“7bridges have developed a novel technology solution to digitalise the design, management and optimisation of supply chains,” he said. “7bridges will enable a wider range of businesses to better harness the power of data and AI to support commercial decision-making. We believe 7bridges has the potential to address a largely unmet market need and significantly improve companies’ supply chains.”
Maersk Growth is the venture arm of shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk. It said it invests in and partners with innovative startups to digitize, democratize, and decarbonize supply chains.
“For the next 12 to 18 months, we will focus on increasing the reach of our proprietary AI-powered logistics platform,” said Ashton. “In practice, that means we’ll continue to grow our commercial team and further invest in our unique technology and data. This will enable 7bridges to transform more supply chains and deliver responsive, flexible, sustainable, and cost-effective logistics solutions to their customers and consumers.”
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