Startups

Amid supply chain meltdowns, Chain.io delivers an $11M Series A

The Philly-founded company's logistics platform handles back-end integrations so its customers can focus on their core processes. Expect hiring, CEO Brian Glick said.

Chain.io founder Brian Glick (left) speaking at the Transpacific Maritime Tech show in February 2022.

(Courtesy photo)

When we talked to Chain.io founder and CEO Brian Glick in 2018, he told us the company solves a problem everyone hates dealing with: getting computers to talk to each other efficiently. 

The six-year old company still does exactly that, the logistics pro said Thursday — though now with a Series A to push it along.

Chain.io is Glick’s second venture, and its supply chain platform helps providers, retailers, manufacturers and logistics services providers to work together more seamlessly. The platform handles back-end integrations so its customers, including 10 of the world’s largest freight forwarders, can focus on their core processes, he said.

But 2022 is no ordinary year for supply chains. Between labor disruptions, production delays and global factors like wars and climate change, you’ve probably noticed some of your favorite products just won’t stay in stores or will take weeks to arrive.

“The way we think about it is, the pandemic is not the reason we have supply chain problems,” Glick told Technical.ly. “The fact we have 8 billion people on the planet is. Environmental change, political unrest, war, and all of that — [it’s] the continued strain on resources.”

It all adds up to a once-relatively predictable industry becoming far less predictable. Chain.io’s technology eases the new normal for supply chain-related companies.

“They have to be faster to innovate,” the founder added. “We help them do that.”

Chain.io began swift growth last spring, when it raised a $5 million seed round, and brought its employee count from 16 to nearly 50 in the last year.

The state of supply chains has created increased demand for the company which mainly supports international freight with its logistics platform. To support the growth Glick feels the company needs to meet the movement, the company just closed an $11 million Series A. It began swift growth last spring, when it raised a $5 million seed, and brought its employee count from 16 to nearly 50 in the last year.

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The round was co-led by Fontinalis Partners and High Alpha, with participation from Mercury, Grand Ventures, Eve Atlas and Waybury Capital. The company will grow its network and add more native connectivity to its transportation and supply chain platforms, and expand across North America, Europe and Asia.

“Nearly three-quarters of supply chain functions still rely on spreadsheets, and it’s never been clearer that the global supply chain needs a digital infrastructure that is more interconnected and efficient,” said Chris Stallman, partner at Fontinalis Partners, in a statement about the raise. “Chain.io’s focus on streamlining integrations enables its customers to free up internal resources to focus on customer service and innovation, while also exposing them to a network of leading technology providers that can transform their businesses.”

Glick said previous investors introduced the company to its lead investors in this round, and they felt like a good fit. Fontinalis offers transportation and mobility expertise, while High Alpha specializes in the kind of company growth Chain.io is prepping for.

“One thing to think about, when you’re not raising out of the main hubs: We wanted to make sure we were culturally aligned and building a neutral network of investors, which takes discipline,” Glick said.

The founder anticipates adding another 40 to 50 members to its staff over the next year, focused on localized onboarding and sales staff for direct customer facing roles. The company went fully remote in the pandemic, and will hire from all over. Glick himself is based out of the Industrious coworking facility in the Fashion District. He still considers Philly the company’s hub, but will “go where the talent is,” even if that person calls into all-hands meetings from a different country each time.

Glick said shaping the company in the pandemic has made him, like many other founders, reassess how to operate and what to prioritize. The thing that keeps him most excited is building the company the “right” way with a respectful, positive and inclusive culture.

“Part of our job is to prove big, hard problems with kindness and inclusion,” Glick said, “which we’re extremely proud about.”

Companies: Chain.io
People: Brian Glick
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