- The amount of money going toward supply chain and logistics startups in 2019 could surpass 2018 totals considering the amount of funding already raised, according to an analysis by CB Insights.
- These startups raised more than $13.59 billion in 2018 and have already raised $12.47 billion in 2019, the report found. There have been 416 deals so far this year compared to 520 in 2018.
- A plurality of these deals — almost 41% — have taken place in the United States, but companies in China and India are increasing their share of the overall global funding, the report said.
The report outlines some deals it considers to be "notable," such as the funding given to the India-based Delhivery ($115 million), the United Kingdom-based Starship Technologies ($40 million), the U.S.-based Loadsmart ($19 million) and Nike's acquisition of the data science firm, Celect.
Startups have also encountered competition within the narrow segments of supply chain technology. Warehouse robotics alone have raised hundreds of millions in funding over the last few years, according to a Supply Chain Dive review of funding numbers.
The continued growth in e-commerce means logistics providers and retailers are dealing with a large number of orders for a small quantity of items in each order — a significant shift from the bulk order model for restocking brick-and-mortar stores. At the same time, these retailers are promising faster delivery times.
The e-commerce market in India specifically is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026, up from $39 billion in 2017, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation. Delhivery has built out a network for transportation and delivery, fulfillment, and freight across India.
Other companies are looking at specific pieces of the supply chain instead of building out an entire network. Starship Technologies, for example, has introduced a robotic solution it says could make last-mile delivery easier for parcels, grocery and food.
The last couple of years has been about piloting all of the new technology with the supply chain space, Gina Chung, the head of Innovation Americas for DHL, told Supply Chain Dive this week. But in the next five years, these technologies will start to mature and companies could begin to realize the increased efficiency promised by applications like robotics and automation, Chung said.