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Supply Chain Tech

Market Map: Can AI help supply chain tech snap a bearish trend?

As companies look to navigate the post-pandemic world, technology dealing with global supply chains remains paramount amid new regulations and industrial policy in the US, increased competition between China and the US, and sanctions on Russia.

As companies look to navigate the post-pandemic world, technology dealing with global supply chains remains paramount amid new regulations and industrial policy in the US, increased competition between China and the US, and sanctions on Russia.

The sector has been bearish of late with deals and exits trending below 2023. Still, with supply chain strategy moving away from the just-in-time principles that were in place before COVID-19, companies are looking for ways to manage inventory as well as improve tracking, according to PitchBook’s Q1 2023 Supply Chain Tech Report.

Supply chain tech is expected to help augment and deal with labor shortages in global supply chains, with AI in particular playing an important role, according to PitchBook analyst Jonathan Geurkink.

The market map below explores the warehouse tech segment and shows which startups are attracting capital. Click on the blue tile to see more information.

To go deeper, read our Q1 2023 Supply Chain Tech Report. PitchBook subscribers can also explore the full market map with details on nearly 2,000 companies.

Spotlight: Warehouse tech

PitchBook has broken the warehouse tech segment into five subsegments:

  • Warehouse automation: Technology that helps automate warehouse inventory and organization by helping (and in some cases replacing) workers.
  • Warehousing & fulfillment: Models and systems that change how inventory is distributed and stored.
  • Augmented reality: Technology that helps workers with tracking and organizing inventory.
  • Sustainable packaging technology: New methods of packaging that use sustainable materials in a more efficient way.
  • Other warehousing: Other systems and technologies that deal with warehouses.

Trends: Deals and exits

 

Through the first quarter of 2023, there were 195 supply chain tech VC deals worth $2.4 billion, a continuation of the slowdown from the previous year, according to PitchBook data.

There was a stark decline in deal value, decreasing by 45.3% quarter-over-quarter and 81.8% year-over-year while deal count fell by a more modest 19.4% and 49.7% respectively, according to the report.

Notable deals in Q1 2023 included supply chain software startup JD Industrial Products’ $300 million Series B and robotic automation software developer Plus One Robotics’ $50 million Series C.

 

There were 17 exits with a combined $0.8 billion in Q1 2023, continuing the bearish trend seen in 2022, where there were fewer than 100 exits total.

The majority of exits in the quarter were acquisitions, according to the report.

The biggest exit in the quarter was electric trucks manufacturer VIA‘s acquisition by Ideanomics’ for $630 million.

More market maps:

Featured image by Busakorn Pongparnit/Getty Images

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