Supply chain disruptions increased by 67% in 2020, and 83% of these disruptions were caused by humans somewhere in the many moving parts that need to work together: suppliers, traders, banks and manufacturers. The pandemic has exposed flaws that have been built for decades. The importance of how technology brings transparency and flexibility to supply chains is now at the forefront, with unprecedented attention being paid to visibility and decision-making tools to ensure that global, interconnected supply chains remain as resilient as possible. Leverage is an end-to-end supply he chain visibility platform. Built with versatility in mind, the platform integrates with existing systems to provide AI-powered real-time visibility and automated purchase order and exception visibility. Leverage uses AI to predict potential inventory risk by tracking her SKUs across fulfillment centers. Last year, the platform worked with some of the world’s largest manufacturers to process over $500 million in purchase order spend.
alley watch We spoke with the co-founder of Leverage Nadav Ullman To learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, the latest funding round bringing the company’s total funding to $13.9 million, and more…
Who are the investors and how much did you raise?
The $7 million round was led by chicago ventureswith participation from Las Olas Ventures, Tensility Venture Partners, Remarkable Venturesand Florida Funder.
What products or services does Leverage offer?
Leverage automates the previously manual process of handling supplier order status and provides unprecedented visibility into both real-time and historical lead times and costs for ordered products. Supply his chain team can finally answer the basic question: “Where is my stuff?”
What inspired you to start using leverage?
In March 2020, my co-founder was Andrew Stroup And I started a non-profit organization called Project N95.
The nonprofit started out as a few Google Forms to connect PPE suppliers with frontline workers, but in the midst of the PPE crisis, it became a national clearinghouse for vetted PPE. The organization has grown to over 250 people in the first three months and has hired talent focused on vetting and distributing millions of his PPE from suppliers around the world to frontline workers.
Project N95 has become the nation’s premier body for reviewing personal protective equipment from around the world and the go-to procurement arm of the White House.
The reason we had to build such a large team there was because we didn’t have good technology where our orders were.
As the PPE crisis becomes the norm and PPE is scrutinized from shortage to oversupply, we set out to build Leverage to help modernize these space processes across the broader supply chain area.
How is leverage different?
Manufacturers not currently using Leverage must manually make phone calls or send emails to collect status updates from their global supplier base. Then take that data and update your spreadsheet or internal system of record. This is incredibly costly, unreliable, and lacks consistent order visibility, ultimately leading to customer dissatisfaction and lost revenue.
Leverage fully automates this workflow, not only delivering day-one ROI by automating manual workflows, but also providing enterprise-wide visibility into how supply chain operations impact customers and sales.
What market is Leverage targeting and how big is it?
Leverage targets companies with material supply chain organizations. Today, our customers range from apparel to furniture to industrial electronics. This is a fast-growing approximately $75 billion industry. So this is huge and there are a lot of opportunities for leverage to make an impact on a global scale.
What is your business model?
We are a classic subscription SaaS, all cloud based, with a pre-built platform ready to use. Our customers pay an ongoing license fee to use the platform, keeping us all connected.
How are you preparing for a potential economic slowdown?
Depending on the industry and business model, macro conditions are definitely affecting many startups.
For example, if I were running a cryptocurrency or VR company, or a consumer product that I wanted to track the revenue for later, I would be seriously thinking about changing appetites of capital allocators.
We’ve been generating revenue since the first month and we’re in an industry that will continue to exist forever. And the problem we are solving is not speculative. We provide technology that makes the world work better. In fact, the current volatility has increased manufacturers’ interest in finding solutions that leverage technology to deliver efficiency and cost savings.
Sure, we practice smart financial management, but leanness is in our DNA anyway. I believe that if we stay focused on solving customer needs, we can continue to build great businesses in the long run.
What was the fundraising process like?
Chicago Ventures are leading this round and they are the absolute pros. When a team or company has beliefs, they act very quickly. The rest of the round then had participation from many of the previous investors, and was oversubscribed. Including the paperwork, we increased the scale by about $1 million in about five weeks.shout out to Peter Christman at Chicago Ventures.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while fundraising?
There are so many uncertainties in the startup and venture community that we didn’t know what was going to happen. Partially closing rounds are down because no one knows how to price deals at the moment. We finally decided to offer a fair price on the first day.
What factors about your business made investors write checks?
I think the number one thing is the value we bring to our customers every day, how much we can really help them. You’ve spoken to several customers, and they all say, “We’ve seen 15x ROI with this platform, but we had no visibility into order status, lead times, costs, etc.”
And you find that entire global supply chains operate in exactly the same way. The scale of the problem we’re trying to solve starts to become pretty clear, and it’s easy to get excited about being part of that journey.
Supply chains are inherently messy spaces, so kudos to investors who quickly grasped the problem.
What milestones do you plan to achieve in the next six months?
There is so much to do. We have a huge product roadmap with many exciting applications of AI in space, and we’re excited to announce when we get there. We are hiring significant numbers of people in engineering, support and sales. Based on demand and our sales pipeline, we will invest first and foremost in ensuring the success of our new customers.
What advice would you give to New York companies that haven’t recapitalized their banks?
Try not to get distracted by the latest zeitgeist and hype. Solve real customer problems.
Where do you see the company going in the short term?
So to speak, go deeper, not wider. The problem we are trying to solve, automating supplier visibility, is a huge one. The challenge is to concentrate. Looking across our supply chain operations, it’s easy to get distracted because our customers are constantly seeing a sea of inefficiencies and looking to us for help solving them.Our job is to make sure they build what really matters most and make sure we’re the best at what we do.
To do it right, it’s important to keep hiring, retaining, and empowering champion teams. Easier said than done!
What are your favorite summer destinations in and around the city?
Driving down Hudson River Park is pretty tough.
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https://www.alleywatch.com/2023/07/leverage-automated-supply-chain-visibility-platform-nadav-ullman/ Leverage Raises Another $7 Million For Automated Supply Chain Visibility Platform – AlleyWatch