Tive Inc., a supply chain visibility platform, announced on Tuesday that it secured a $12 million Series A funding round.
Riding a wave of interest in real-time supply chain tracking, Boston-headquartered Tive provides visibility into shipments throughout the transportation process, offering location data and condition insights such as temperature, shock, light exposure and humidity.
“We tell customers where their loads are and the condition of their loads,” said Krenar Komoni, CEO at Tive. “How hot, how cold, how wet — did someone open the trailer, did someone open the container.”
The hardware portion of the system consists of 5G-connected single use trackers that attach to pallets and can be used on any type of motor vehicle.
Citing an example of how the technology plays out in the real world, Komoni said the system picked up an increase in temperature from 32 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit in a reefer carrying strawberries.
Tive was able to contact the carrier, who contacted the driver. The reefer underwent a relatively quick fix, and the distributor was able to check on the berries once more before the shipment continued on to the customer. “We saved quite a bit of that load,” noted Komoni.
Founded in 2015, Tive saw business take off in 2020, as companies have rushed to digitize freight procedures in the wake of the pandemic and e-commerce surge.
Revenue grew by 570% this year, according to Komoni, driven by customers include Alpine Fresh, Crane Worldwide Logistics, Fastly, Aviagen, Hellmann Logistics and BOA Logistics.
A former smartphone chip designer, Komoni credits his father-in-law, a carrier in Worcester, Massachusetts, for giving him the idea for the startup. “I would also see him calling his drivers, did they load and unload, where were they. He always had this anxiety.”
Komoni’s own conversations with drivers revealed deficiencies with passive temperature sensors checked only at the end of day, when it was too late to catch problems.
That’s where the concept of making real-time trackers originated, he said, noting the company’s informal tagline: ‘‘Tive is tracking live.”
Tive’s round comes as refrigerated transport is getting more attention from technology startups. Hwy Haul, a supply chain platform founded by two ex-Walmart veterans, offers freight matching in the fresh produce sector, along with real-time load tracking, temperature and humidity monitoring.
The historic mobilization underway to ship COVID-19 vaccines has only compounded interest in temperature-control technologies, with the first vaccine to be shipped, the Pfizer vaccine, needing to be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Koroni said two global logistics companies that will be engaged in vaccine distribution are currently testing its devices.
The Series A investment will help fuel continued technological innovation, he added, along with sales and marketing growth.
Tive’s current line of tracking devices can measure temperatures down to minus 40 Celsius, Koroni noted, and the startup is investing in a new product that will measure temperatures down to minus 100 Celsius.
Disclosure: Tive is a FW sponsored content partner.