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Project44, a Chicago, Illinois-based supply chain visibility solutions provider, today announced it has acquired last-mile delivery startup Convey for $255 million. Project44 says it and Convey will together serve the global supply chain end-to-end, offering insights to help brands deliver new direct-to-consumer and ecommerce experiences.
Once a back-office process, supply chain management is now recognized as one of the most critical business functions in the enterprise. According to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of U.S. adults say they’ve been unable to get a product they wanted in the past two months because of shortages. Thirty-five percent of companies told Statista that delays in cross-border transportation during the pandemic had impacted their business, and 52% said hiring and retaining qualified supply chain workers was proving extremely or very challenging.
Austin, Texas-based Convey, which was founded in 2013 by Carson Krieg, Dan Bebout, and Jenny Bebout, offers ecommerce delivery, analytics, and post-purchase experiences powered by machine learning. It counts over 200 brands among its customers, including Home Depot, Nieman Marcus, Ferguson, and Ingram-Micro. Prior to the acquisition, Convey had raised $25.7 million in venture capital from Techstars Ventures, Silverton Partners, and other backers.
“Salesforce, Google, and Adobe have transformed virtually every aspect of the digital customer experience through visibility and intelligent decisioning in the shape of marketing automation, targeted advertising, and personalization. Now, with Convey, Project44 is bringing this approach and cutting-edge technology to the most complex customer experience challenge yet: the supply chain,” Convey CEO Rob Taylor said in a statement.
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Post-purchase, Project44 will add carrier, seller, shipper, and logistics products from Convey, including the ability to resolve parcel delivery issues through automated customer communications. Together, Project44 and Convey will offer ways for companies to react to downstream changes like shipping delays, ETA changes, COVID-related worker shortages, and port closures, according to McCandless, in part by expanding the use of AI through predictive ETAs and dynamic transit times both pre- and post-purchase.
“The stakes are high for companies to not only fulfill and ship orders but to make the right promises about availability and delivery. However, volatile conditions, overwhelming complexity, and blind spots in the supply chain make this difficult to achieve. We’ve solved this with the acquisition of Convey, making Project44 the unequivocal choice for any company that wants to leverage supply chain and logistics as a competitive advantage and driver of brand loyalty,” McCandless said in a press release.
The acquisition is Project44’s third in 2021 and largest to date, following the purchase of Ocean Insights and ClearMetal. With Convey, the seven-year-old company, which has raised nearly $400 million at an over $1 billion valuation, connects more than 880 global shippers and third-party logistics providers with a network of 113,000 carriers, 2.6 million assets, and more than 9 billion last-mile shipment events.
The logistics and delivery segment is red-hot. According to McKinsey, venture capitalists have recently invested around $28 billion in logistics startups, nearly all of it since 2015. Most funding — around $11.1 billion — was raised by startups offering last-mile delivery services to retailers and individuals, like Convey, Fleetonomy, Bringg, and NextBillion.
In 2020, the supply chain management market was valued at $15.85 billion, and it’s expected to reach around $31 billion by 2026, according to Statista.
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