There has been no shortage of challenges for the logistics industry this year. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 ground industries across the world to a halt. But, as the world began to open up this year, businesses were faced with new problems: crippling supply shortages, from materials to shipping and labour. The effect of supply chain disruptions has only been exacerbated over the festive period due the surge in demand. However, there is renewed optimism across the logistics industry as investors back new solutions which aim to remedy the disruptions through digitisation.
KlearNow, the smart Logistics as a Service (LaaS) pioneer founded in 2018 and launched in the UK 2021, has raised £38M ($50M US) in new capital to transform broken supply chains, simplifying and providing real-time cargo visibility to the customs clearance and drayage processes. KlearNow’s AI-powered platform eases the worldwide supply chain disruptions that have left businesses grappling with delays and shortages.
The Series B investment was led by Kayne Partners Fund, the growth private equity group of KayneAnderson Capital Advisors, with continued participation from existing investors including GreatPoint Ventures, Argean Capital, and Autotech Ventures, plus new investment from Activate Capital.
Though the global logistics market value is £6.5T, it is a fragmented and archaic industry and one of the last to embrace technology and collaborative innovation. The global pandemic has further exacerbated supply chain bottlenecks, accelerating the need for digital transformation.
Investors were drawn to KlearNow’s platform as it eases import/export burdens by digitizing and streamlining complex paper-based logistics processes, reducing manual entry times and human errors. The platform takes the digitized data to power its customs clearance marketplace, providing an unprecedented level of real-time end-to-end visibility, collaboration, and cost savings for its customers.
Since its £12M Series A funding round led by GreatPoint Ventures in January 2020, KlearNow has grown exponentially, increasing its customer base tenfold and its monthly revenue run rate by more than 50 times. During this time, U.S.-based KlearNow has expanded into Canada, and launched its UK service in January 2021 to support UK and EU businesses operating in the post-Brexit landscape.
KlearNow recently added a drayage marketplace to its smart LaaS platform to support drayage companies facing planning and scheduling challenges and importers demanding extended visibility. With both customs clearance and drayage marketplaces, KlearNow provides a single view of multi-leg shipments from port of loading to the warehouse. The Series B investment strengthens KlearNow’s position as the go-to digital supply chain solution for businesses that trade across borders.
Sam Tyagi, CEO and founder of KlearNow says: “This latest round of funding enables us to aggressively accelerate our technology development and deployment, geographical expansion, and talent investments, helping us transform supply chains that power commerce.
“We are excited to have strategic partners and investors with deep knowledge in this space, and we believe that with their support, our technology can lead to a meaningful, sustainable impact on global supply chains.”
Nishita Cummings, Managing Partner and Co-Head of Growth Equity at Kayne Partners, says: “The supply chain and logistics industry is primed for incredible disruption in the upcoming years and continued investment in technology and tech-enabled infrastructure is a critical component of the solution.”
“KlearNow is the leading technology partner in this space, with an advanced AI-based platform that removes friction in moving goods across borders in an easy, efficient, and cost-effective manner.”
Tyagi added: “Global supply chains have been in a chaotic state for the past couple of years, but businesses in the UK have faced the additional challenge of dealing with an opaque and hard-to-navigate post-Brexit trading landscape. We’re proud that our platform has been able to ease the burden for a wide range of UK businesses, from flower growers to car parts manufacturers. This funding partnership will help us offer more innovative solutions to more businesses in the UK, EU and around the world.”
Ashok Krishnamurthi, Managing Partner at GreatPoint Ventures added, “Digitalization has become mission-critical for supply chain logistics. During the pandemic lockdowns when the world and companies needed work from home capabilities, KlearNow stepped up, unshackling employees from the office, scanners, and fax machines. With a smart digital solution, supply chain logistics teams were able to work remotely from home and leave the paper world behind. Visibility, productivity, and sustainability are a great combination.”