The 2019-founded optimization startup Nextmv announced this week that it had closed an $8 million Series A from existing investors.
Founder and CEO Carolyn Mooney told Technical.ly the company wasn’t necessarily looking to fundraise twice in 2020 — it raised a seed round of fundraising in spring 2020, and this latest round closed in December — but existing investors were getting excited about the company’s cloud-based optimization platform built with devs in mind.
The 2021 RealLIST Startups honoree was founded and built its product before the pandemic hit last year, with the goal of making a developers-first platform for logistics optimization that was accessible for those who weren’t specifically trained in it. Cofounders Mooney and CTO Ryan O’Neil are alumni of startups Zoomer and Grubhub, where they built the algorithms to consolidate and automate deliveries, and managed large distributed teams.
And in the pandemic, optimization and logistics has quickly found footing as one of the most emerging strategies for companies doing business: Everything from ecommerce shipping to food delivery to vaccine distribution is powered by optimization.
“The pandemic hit around the time we were getting the product off the ground, and it just amplified the need for it,” Mooney said. “Our initial customers were in delivery space, and it exploded in 2020, and in that way it put a lot of fuel on the fire.”
FirstMark Capital led the round with participation from Dynamo Ventures, 2048 Ventures, Atypical Ventures and GreenHawk Capital. A handful of individual investors from the developer tools and logistics spaces, including GitHub CTO Jason Warner, Stripe COO Claire Johnson, Twilio Community VP Ricky Robinett and Seamless founder Jason Finger, all participated as well. Mooney said she feels grateful for the added insight into how to build a developer-first platform.
“We weren’t necessarily expecting it at that time,” Mooney said of raising more funds in 2020. “But we were excited, and our investors were getting really excited about creating this dev community around decision science.”
The round will go toward building the team up to about 25 by the end of the year; they’re currently at 15 full-timers, with three joining next month. It’ll also go toward development of the platform’s integrations, like API documents. Building something for devs means it needs to be usable in their stack. In December, the team launched Nextmv Cloud and API, a fast and free way to test the company’s prebuilt decision models.
The company currently offers two products: Hop, which works for optimization and modeling, and Dash which works for simulation and experimentation. They’re also hoping to eventually build a “Nextmv playground,” which would allow devs to build out their own tools specific to their company’s needs.
“We want to get people to think about this as their decision-making stack,” Mooney said, “not just another piece of software.”
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