FourKites completes $35M Series B funding round

FourKites, a pioneer in predictive data analytics for the supply chain, announced this morning the successful completion of a $35M Series B funding round led by August Capital. Bain Capital Ventures, which led FourKites’ Series A round, and Hyde Park Venture Partners also participated in the raise.

FreightWaves spoke to FourKites Founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal by phone. “August Capital has Chicago roots and has backed a lot of Chicago-area startups. They clearly had a company vision and they invest long-term; they aren’t looking for a quick exit. A lot of things came together for us,” said Elenjickal.

“Predictive technology is rapidly becoming an integral component of supply chain execution, as companies recognize its enormous value,” said Eric Carlborg, general partner at August Capital. “FourKites is at the forefront of that value creation, delivering transformative solutions to the world’s largest companies. We look forward to being part of FourKites’ next chapter, as the team scales the breadth and depth of those solutions.” Carlborg is joining FourKites’ board as part of the deal.

Elenjickal said that FourKites now has enough fuel in the tank to go after a billion-dollar market and plans to use the funds to accelerate product development and international expansions. According the Wall Street Journal, FourKites will also double its workforce, current at 160. FourKites’ predictive analytics product is already being used worldwide by large companies who need realtime supply chain recommendations and want to be able to anticipate arrivals of shipments by air, land, and sea. FourKites says it has the industry’s largest network of real-time shipment location data, powered by more than four million GPS devices and its own proprietary algorithms.

“Our goal since day one has been to deliver measurable value for our customers by reimagining the way technology can transform their global supply chains,” said Elenjickal. “This new funding accelerates the pace with which we can develop the next generation of predictive supply chain solutions.”

FourKites has grown revenue by 400 percent over the last 12 months and is now the undisputed market leader, signing large shipper customers at a rate of one per week. The company recently signed international deals with Unilever for supply chain tracking across Europe, and with AB InBev in South Africa. Other FourKites customers include many of the world’s largest shippers – Best Buy, Conagra Brands, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, Perdue Foods, Smithfield Foods and US Foods, among others.

Elenjickal said that some of FourKites’ largest customers are beta-testing a new benchmark product that will be released in the coming weeks. FourKites is aggregating data on dwell times, carrier performance, and on-time delivery rates so that its customers will be able to analyze the productivity of a given lane, compare lanes, and make better decisions about carrier assignment and management. 

A further product, one a little earlier in its development, is FourKites’ predictive capacity management tool. This product will match and optimize capacity for shippers, dedicated fleets, and 3PLs, making empty backhauls easier to fill. Elenjickal told us that predictive capacity management is a few months rather than weeks away from release. 

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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.