ClearMetal Raises Capital to Help Companies Keep Up With Amazon

 
 

By Marc Vartabedian, read in The Wall Street Journal

Updated Feb. 4, 2020 6:02 am ET

ClearMetal Inc., a logistics and supply chain data analytics startup, raised $15 million in funding, as companies attempt to cut shipping costs, speed up deliveries, and more accurately forecast arrivals to meet higher consumer expectations.

Companies are racing to revamp logistics operations, in part to keep pace with consumer expectations for fast delivery pioneered by Amazon. com Inc. and shipping providers including United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Eclipse Ventures led the Series A-1 round, which included equity and debt financing. Prelude Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, New Enterprise Associates and others participated in the deal.

San Francisco-based ClearMetal offers industrial and retail companies a software platform to organize and optimize their logistics operations.

The software uses artificial intelligence to analyze various real-time data points, including data on inventory and shipping, to help companies smooth out complex logistics operations, ClearMetal’s Chief Executive Adam Compain said.

The software allows both consumer-facing and non-consumer-facing companies to cut costs, speed up delivery time, and more accurately forecast arrivals, among other things, Mr. Compain said. For instance, ClearMetal’s software could allow companies to cut costs by allowing them to reduce their inventory buffers with more accurate forecasting, Mr. Compain added.

ClearMetal’s customers include transnational consumer goods giant Unilever and paper and building products manufacturer Georgia-Pacific.

As companies simultaneously expand and attempt to offer products and services at faster paces, optimizing logistics operations has proven to be difficult.

For example, supply chain forecasting inefficiencies for spare parts ballooned into a significant cost and safety challenge for electric scooter sharing startups as they expanded, WSJ Pro reported this year.

“Logistics operations are becoming part of the customer experience,” Mr. Compain said.

Founded in 2014, ClearMetal raised $9 million in funding in 2017, led by Prelude Ventures and Innovation Endeavors, a venture firm co-founded by former Alphabet Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. The startup also raised $3 million in 2015.

ClearMetal will use the funding to boost its product development, European expansion and to double its head count in its San Francisco headquarters and elsewhere, Mr. Compain said.

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Write to Marc Vartabedian at marc.vartabedian@wsj.com

 
Alejandro Saavedra