Factories regularly face inventory shortages and missed deliveries, but they’re wounds of a self-inflicted nature. Just ask LeanDNA cofounder and CEO Richard Lebovitz, who previously founded Factory Logic, which was acquired by SAP for an undisclosed amount. LeanDNA is an Austin, Texas-based startup building a cloud-based actionable intelligence platform for factory enterprise resource planning systems. In the four years since its founding, LeanDNA has nabbed the business of customers including Ibis Tek, JR Automation, Knoll, Milacron, Thales, Garrett Metal Detectors, and Swenson. Now, roughly two years after it raised $4.5 million in series A funding, it’s closing a venture capital round ahead of a planned expansion.
LeanDNA today announced that it has raised $15 million in a series B round led by S3 Ventures, with participation from existing investors Next Coast Ventures and Rony Kahan. Lebovitz says the fresh capital will be used to scale the company’s global offering and grow its customer base while supporting other strategic growth initiatives.
“We are dedicated to empowering factory procurement teams to take control of their inventory,” added Lebovitz. “Having spent the past 30 years working directly with global factories, one thing is abundantly clear: Factories have been left behind. In collaboration with our pioneering global manufacturing customers, we have proven that a data-driven approach to factory management is critical to unlocking working capital across the supply chain.”
LeanDNA’s solutions suite automatically prioritizes messages in visual dashboards, allowing AI to swiftly identify top actions. It makes an effort to incorporate stakeholders from every level and business unit into a single source of truth, in part by assigning tasks for proactive inventory optimization while automatically responding to changing demand. LeanDNA identifies shortages ahead of time and provides recommended corrective actions, while at the same time delivering suggested steps for inventory decision-making. And it automates shortage reporting to save teams unnecessary manual work.
On the distribution and delivery side of the equation, LeanDNA features tools designed to facilitate cross-site and cross-function collaboration for past, present, and future inventory levels. Warehouse employees and managers gain access to supply and demand history for specific parts and can see things like lines of balance and orders and predict current and future shortages by site, supplier, buyer, day, week, or month. Those workers are also afforded the ability to update statuses, record comments, tag individuals, and more, while outside users — like buyers and suppliers — get custom views and tagging capabilities.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. LeanDNA collates delivery, quality, and cost performance metrics in a unified dashboard that lets customers prioritize and collaborate on shortages, as well as managing improvement initiatives to completion. Joint projects can be created and orchestrated with action items, task owners, and due dates, and requirements can be communicated to suppliers with built-in messaging tools.
LeanDNA’s AI automatically adjusts order policies according to changing demand and supply chain conditions. Moreover, it offers inventory visibility in real time across all sites, with an average integration and setup time of about 10 days.
“Nobody understands the factory management gap like LeanDNA,” said S3 Ventures partner Charlie Plauche, who recently joined LeanDNA’s board of directors. “With the company’s track record of rapid expansion and several multibillion dollar manufacturing companies among its existing customers, we’re confident LeanDNA’s unique platform can capture a significant share of the massive manufacturing market.”
LeanDNA isn’t the only startup competing in the global manufacturing operations management software market. There’s Bright Machines, which raised $179 million in October to further develop its robot factory automation platform, and Brain Corp, which snagged $114 million last August for its software that orchestrates factory and retail robots. If the current trend holds, the segment could grow by 10% from this year to 2023.