Supply chain visibility companies have secured additional rounds of funding throughout 2021 to strengthen their customers’ logistics resilience.
On Monday, New York City-based Altana AI reported it got in on the action as well, announcing it received a $15 million Series A investment in May.
The round was led by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, with participation from Floating Point, Ridgeline Partners and existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners and Schematic Ventures, which were part of the $7 million seed investment in November 2020.
“The big idea behind Altana AI was to build a platform which models the supply chain network itself, enabling customers to integrate into that network, see their multi tier supply chain and benefit from the data intelligence it provides,” co-founder and CEO Evan Smith told FreightWaves.
Related article: Altana AI secures $7M to make supply chains safer, more resilient
With Smith and Altana AI co-founders Raphael Tehranian and Peter Swartz pulling from their experience at global trade data company Panjiva, the team worked to take the extensive data pool and help customers apply that toward supply chain risk resiliency.
“We are putting together billions of data records, using natural language processing and machine learning to build this living, breathing map of world supply chain networks that can answer questions about products and the networks that support them,” said Smith.
Smith explained the company mainly provides its tools, like its platform Altana Atlas, to large global logistics providers, government agencies and other multinational enterprises that create compliant and secure supply chain networks.
Funding details: Altana AI
|Funding amount||$15 million|
|Funding round||Series A|
|Lead investor||GV (formerly known as Google Ventures)|
|Secondary investors||Floating Point, Ridgeline Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners and Schematic Ventures|
|Business goals for the round||Expanding team to continue building on current product’s machine learning abilities|
|Total funding||$22 million|
Built upon the structure of Atlas, the company has produced a Know Your Shipment tool that analyzes where the product is from and where it is going, properly classifies the product with customs codes and gives each shipment a trusted shipment rating, mirroring FICO scores but for global trade, said Smith.
“We are using this technology for work in customs preclearance with the idea that logistics service providers can know of issues in advance and make business process change decisions to route those shipments differently,” he said.
“We have always wanted customs authorities to share their rules, what they are looking for and what they are sharing, but they will never do that. So we are learning from customs outcomes associated with inspections or seizures and training machine learning tools to target that.”
Smith explained that outside of compliance, Atlas has been extremely successful in providing downstream supply chain knowledge of risk events. Companies can use its mapping features to diagnose how extreme weather conditions, port congestion and other critical events are affecting links in their supply chain.
By integrating tariff data, Altana AI provides tools to showcase how trade policy creates risk in supply chains as well.
“Last April, India put an export ban on its long list of intermediate chemicals that nobody’s ever heard of. Then four weeks later the world was screaming for them because 80% of the world’s vaccines needed them. We are now able to tell you in real time how these export bans would impact specific supply chain networks coming out of India,” said Smith.
With its new funding, Altana AI looks forward to doubling down on its machine learning and data science capabilities, looking to take its current headcount from 20 to 60 employees by Q2 of next year.
It also plans on implementing more supply chain risk tools in areas of forced labor and sustainability.
“There is a really cool application of our network tool that allows brands and shippers to see if they have got any exposure to forced labor networks. We are also putting sustainability attributes onto the map itself so that you can understand the carbon footprint of your supply chain with an ecological picture of each product,” said Smith.