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South Korean Payments Firm CHAI Pockets US$45 Million in Series B+ Fundraise

South Korean payments startup CHAI raised US$45 million during a Series B+ funding round that was co-led by SoftBank Ventures Asia (SBVA) and Nyca Partners.

SBVA’s participation in this funding round marks their second Series B investment into CHAI.

The round also received additional participation from investors such as KT Investment, Conductive Ventures, Nordstar Capital, Samsung NEXT and B Capital.

CHAI said that it will use this funding to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia and develop a fully automated end-to-end payment infrastructure for digital merchants throughout Asia.

Founded in 2019, CHAI aims to bridge the payments gap in Asian markets by providing a unified payment orchestration solution for local merchants through a single application programming interface (API).

Through CHAI Port, merchants can activate and offer over 30 payment options such as credit cards, digital wallets, bank transfers and cross-border payments to their customers in under an hour.

CHAI currently processes more than US$6 billion on behalf of over 2,2 00 merchants and had launched CHAI Port in Vietnam and Thailand

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Airport retailer deploys MishiPay mobile self-checkout

Airport retailer and restaurant company Paradies Lagardere is expanding its fleet of MishiPay Scan, Pay & Go mobile self-checkout technology to 20 more airports in the U.S. and Canada.

During a successful pilot in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Paradies Lagardère saw the clear impact of MishiPay’s technology: by enabling shoppers to scan and pay for their desired products using their own devices, store associates were able to repurpose a portion of their shift from manning a cash register to other valuable tasks such as restocking, sanitizing high traffic sections, and assisting customers.

The technology is being embraced by customers, according to the release, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they have opened the app, which does not require a download.

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The next steps for SCALUE, a game-changer in procurement analytics

A lot has happened since we last talked to Thomas Teichmann, one of the co-founders, along with Samir Kharkan, and managing director of SCALUE, in 2019. Since then, their tool became available at SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. They also welcomed Dr. Ulrich Piepel, former top manager from RWE | innogy and current Senior Advisor from BCG & SAP Ariba, to their advisory board.

“Procurement analytics is the next step, replacing legacy spend cubes and bringing a new dimension to procurement organizations in terms of total spend transparency, process efficiency, automation, savings, and maverick buying,” saysDr. Ulrich Piepel, former CPO of RWE and innogy about the future of procurement analytics.

SCALUE’s procurement analytics plug-and-play app gives SMEs and corporates a chance to address their supply chain pain points without manually inserting data in an Excel sheet. Their automated, cloud-based technology will soon become a crucial competitive advantage to keep businesses up to date with digitalization.

As a result, the SaaS procurement tool keeps getting the attention of Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), and other industry leaders looking to improve their digitalization efforts to overcome challenges in the supply chain.

How does SCALUE help CPOs?

With APIs instead of spreadsheets, SMEs and corporates benefit from totally automated data processing (ETL). SCALUE’s benefits include:

  • 20% more cost-efficiency and 80% of time-saving, depending on the industry and supply chain;
  • An empowered team, thanks to their integrated e-learning platform to deliver educational content on procurement terminology and optimization;
  • Data to empower CPOs’ abilities to fast decision-making, preparing the foundations to remain agile should unexpected events happen;
  • And tools for CPOs to optimize and scalue their procurement processes — adding more and more value.

As the points above summarize, SCALUE’s automated and advanced procurement software helps build a transparent, digitally-forward foundation for strategic procurement processes.

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Milk Moovement Bags $1.5M From SDTC

Milk Moovement, which makes supply chain management software for the dairy industry, now controls about 10 percent of United States milk production and has bagged a $1.5 million grant from federal agency Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

CEO Robert Forsythe said in an interview that, in the wake of a United States expansion that saw the company move its sales office to Minnesota, Milk Moovement has inked deals with three of the country’s largest dairy cooperatives — including California Dairies, which includes more than 300 farms.

He said Milk Moovement’s revenue has grown about 350 percent on the back of the American deals, with annual recurring revenue set to hit $2 million by the end of this year.

In addition to a $4 million equity funding round last Spring, the money from SDTC follows a smaller, $100,000 grant from 2020.

“From there, they really looked at, ‘Okay, who’s high-performing and who’s growing really quickly, and who could benefit from further investment?” said Forsythe.

“They were just seeing traction and an ability to really double down on what we pitched for the $100K.”

Milk Moovement’s software is now used in the production of 23 billion pounds of milk annually — about a tenth of the 223 billion pounds produced every year in the United States. The technology is used by about 800 farms and Forsythe expects that number to double by early next year.

But he said $2 million of revenue from 10 percent of the market does not mean Milk Movement’s annual revenue from the U.S. will top out at $20 million. Dairy co-operatives are the company’s beachhead market, but next year, he expects to begin making inroads into the tenfold larger dairy processing industry.

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How a mobile-friendly platform can increase quality control of fresh produce

Companies that deal in fresh produce and are looking for more advanced quality control of their fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain might want to check out Clarifruit’s mobile-friendly platform.

By simply taking a photo from a smartphone of their product, Clarifruit’s intuitive app can then autogenerate a report with data for more refined inspections and analysis. Officials say it can provide both reassurance and times savings for marketing teams, wholesalers, retailers and distribution centres.

“Clarifruit has built the only end-to-end automatic QC platform in the market, offering both automated, mobile data collection for the QC inspector as well as QC analytics for the sales and operational departments”, CEO Avi Schwartzer said. “Additional key differentiators are our proprietary technologies, including a patent-protected, deep-learning computer-vision engine as well as a rating algorithm that leverages an ever-growing database of produce photos and attributes.”

Clarifrut leaders say its platform can produce quality reports on nearly a dozen different categories, including apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, oranges, peaches pineapples and plums as well as easy-peelers. More items may be added in the future as the business grows.

The cloud-based startup from Israel which had been in the works for several years, received a £4.5 million infusion prior to the pandemic, including a nearly £1.9 million investment from the European Innovation Council Accelerator.

So how does is work?

After downloading the Clarifrut app, users can take a picture that they want analyzed. That photo then goes through a process aided by “computer-vision technology” that assesses its surface, size, stem, colour and imperfections. Those photos are then compared against Clarifruit’s Big Data library which contains millions of produce images. Clarifruit says “this information can be configured ahead of time to take the inspection type and your specific list of inspected attributes into account.”

As for getting beyond the skin or peel to the heart of the product, Clarifruit says its platform can be configured to work with any ERP solution and “intelligent integrations with third-party hardware devices” to provide more defined qualities such as Brix or firmness.

Users can track their products and reports and get real-time information through the app and their own management dashboard. That dashboard contains data on each inspection, include date, time and location. Reports can be uploaded and converted into Excel spreadsheet if users desire.

Among the applications Clarifruit supports are pre-harvest and final products, inbound and outbound distribution centers, coolers, intake, and front of stores.

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MishiPay Gains 20 More Airports And Takes On ‘Just Walk Out’ From Amazon

Travel retailer Paradies Lagardère will have more than 20 stores in airports around the U.S. and Canada deploying MishiPay’s mobile self-checkout technology in time for Christmas and the expected surge in holiday traffic.

The UK-based technology company’s in-house developed Scan, Pay & Go system has been selected by Paradies—part of the second-biggest airport retailer in the world Lagardère Travel Retail—after a successful test at two locations, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida and Charlotte Douglas Airport, in North Carolina.

The airport rollout includes some key hubs with high footfall such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Phoenix Sky Harbor, plus Vancouver and Toronto airports in Canada. A total of 26 Paradies stores will offer MishiPay from an estate of more than 950, including restaurants, in about 100 airports. Gregg Paradies, president and CEO at Paradies Lagardère, described the current expansion as “phase two” suggesting that further openings were possible.

The decision to expand was based on several factors including customer satisfaction levels in the test stores. They averaged 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they opened the app.

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Connecting Food Crowned the Winner of the Innovation Challenges at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2021

CONNECTING FOOD, harnesses blockchain technology to improve food security, reduce wastage and reinforce consumer trust in our food systems. Connecting Food leverages industry expertise to map food supply chains, improve end-to-end traceability and showcase value chain data via a QR code and WebApp, bringing trust through transparency to consumers.

Revealing the winner of the Innovation Challenge at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit in Singapore were judges from CPF and Cargill:

  • Xiuling Guo, Managing Director, Edible Oils, CARGILL, SINGAPORE
  • Francesca Kleemans, Managing Director, Cocoa and Chocolate, CARGILL, SINGAPORE
  • Lalana Thiranusornkij, SVP – Head of Innovation and New Product Development, CPF, THAILAND
  • Peemdej Utsahajit, Assistant Vice President, Development and Coordination of Research Activities, CPF, THAILAND

Commenting on the reasons for the winning choice, Lalana Thiranusornkij, SVP – Head of Innovation & NPD at CPF said: “All three of our finalists are truly amazing, full of passion and energy in addressing the taste and texture of alternative-protein products and this is the most important issue for companies to be able to deliver to their consumers. What was even more difficult was to select the winner! I’m proud to announce the winner being “Lypid”. A start-up that addresses “Fat” which is key to making plant based meats taste like meat! We feel that working with Lypid will speed up our development and improve our existing products to be even healthier and tastier.”

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Massive Raise by 360Learning Breaks Open Corporate Training: The Creator Economy Arrives

This week 360Learning, a fast-growing collaborative learning company, received an astounding $200 Million of investment. Only a few years ago this would have been incomprehensible, but now it makes sense. This is a company that has unlocked the Creator Economy in corporate training, and the impact could be massive. Let me try to explain.

The corporate training market is huge: over $260 Billion is spent on employee skills each year. Companies train front-line workers, nurses, drivers, and other essential workers and simultaneously spend millions of dollars on technology skills, professional skills, and more. Compliance and safety training itself is more than a $20 Billion industry and programs for leaders and executives often cost tens of thousands of dollars per person.

Corporate training has been built around the paradigm of teaching. Instructional designers and consultants build courses or programs; they package them into online or workshop formats; then they deliver and sell them to others. It’s very similar to the “publishing model” used in books. It takes months to build a course, then people consume it (or buy it) for many years to come.

The problem, of course, is that this model is slow. The content gets out of date, media standards keep changing (TikTok is the newest paradigm), and employees need up-to-date content. So while billions of dollars are spent on packaged content, much of it never gets used. (We’ve looked at the utility of packaged courseware and it turns out almost 80% of licensed content is never used.  In fact our research with large companies found that internally developed content is up to six times more valuable than off-the-shelf published content.)

There are ways of making published content valuable. In our academy (The Josh Bersin Academy) we “always surprise the learner,” by creating programs that always change from page to page. We use a cohort-based design so people learn from their peers. And we use exciting videos and other entertainment pieces to keep people excited.

But despite all these good ideas, more than 70% of all corporate training is developed internally, and these publishing models don’t keep up. Witness the fall in Coursera’s stock over the last few months, as buyers and investors realize so much of that content isn’t as useful as we thought.

Well thanks to innovators like 360Learning, this is all about to change. And that’s why the company is growing so fast.

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360Learning Raises $200M in Funding

People mingling in conversation

360Learning, a NYC- London, UK and Paris, France-based SaaS global collaborative learning company, raised $200m in growth funding.

The round, which brought total raised to over $240m, was led by Sumeru Equity Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Silver Lake Waterman with participation from existing investors Bpifrance Large Venture, XAnge and Educapital.

The company will use the funding to:

  • grow the team to over 500 people by the end of next year driven by hires in innovation, engineering and product;
  • expand internationally across North America, Asia, Europe and South America; and
  • invest in strategic M&A.

Led by Nick Hernandez, founder, and CEO, 360Learning provides a platform that empowers learners to build their own skills, create courses in as few as 17 minutes and share knowledge throughout the business. The company also leverages AI to analyze data sets created from collaborative learning interactions and applies these insights to help learning communities identify what courses are missing or need to be improved, speed up course delivery, ensure learners find courses tailored to their immediate needs and keep growing through constant learning.

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Wakeo Raises $11M in Series A Funding

Wakeo, a Paris, France-based global leader in real-time visibility for overseas transport, raised $11M USD in Series A funding. Backers included 360 Capital and Promus Ventures, through its Orbital Ventures fund. The company intends to use the new to further invest in their ETA calculation models, continue to develop more added-value features, and accelerate international growth.

Led by co-founder and CEO Julien Cote, Wakeo leverages a worldwide network of hundreds of sources including shipping lines, airlines, carriers, ERP, TMS, as well as satellites, terminals, or IoT devices to provide real-time visibility for overseas transport. The platform integrates a data engine crossing those multiple data sources, powered by AI algorithms, to provide intelligent ETAs that anticipate disruptions and deliver customers’ promises.

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Archlet Sourcing Optimization App Now Available on SAP® Store

Today, Archlet announced that its Archlet Sourcing Optimization App is now available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. The API connector integrates with SAP® Ariba®solutions and enables advanced sourcing analytics and scenario optimization capabilities for customers.

“By making Archlet’s sourcing analytics and optimization capabilities available to customers on SAP Store, businesses get access to best-in-class capabilities that further enhance the ROI of their investment into SAP Ariba solutions. Customers can now easily analyze and model sourcing scenarios that include sustainability, risk or supplier diversity scores, while maintaining a single source of truth within the SAP Ariba solution,” says Tim Grunow, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Archlet.

Using the Archlet Sourcing Optimization App to enhance SAP Ariba allows clients to …

  • increase the sourcing data quality with automated error and outlier detection,
  • reduce tender cycle times by eliminating manual Excel-based analysis,
  • highlight negotiation opportunities on a supplier level for improved savings delivery, and
  • make holistic sourcing decisions that reflect business constraints and requirements.

SAP Store, found at store.sap.com, delivers a simplified and connected digital customer experience for finding, trying, buying and renewing more than 1,800solutions from SAP and its partners. There, customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated solutions they need to grow their business. And foreach purchase made through SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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Archlet named Future 5 Procurement software start-up of 2021 by Spend Matters

Spend Matters, the leading source for Procurement solution intelligence, declared Archlet a ‘Future 5’ Procurement software vendor for 2021. For the 8th year in a row, Spend Matters has released its annual “50 Procurement Providers to Know” and “50 Procurement Providers to Watch” lists — plus the 3rd annual “Future 5” list of noted start-ups. Each year, their technology analysts assess the capabilities for an array of companies across 10 procurement technology market sectors to determine the lists totaling 105 vendors in the industry. These represent the best-in-class companies you need to know about as well as the up-and-coming, growing firms to keep your eye on. The announcement took place at the SIG Executive Summit in Carlsbad, California, USA, yesterday.

The recognition as ‘Future 5’ Procurement software provider highlights Archlet’s innovative approach to democratizing advanced features like optimization in sourcing and making them accessible to a larger audience. Optimization and scenario-based analysis are usually only used in highly complex events and high spend categories like transportation, where it is used by extensively trained power users with a background in mathematics. Archlet is making these capabilities available to every Procurement manager in every sourcing event, independent of spend category or complexity and therefore unlocks new savings opportunities for organizations.

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Switzerland-based Archlet raises €8.6M to help companies to make better sourcing decisions; here’s how

Zurich-based Archlet, a B2B SaaS application platform that empowers company buyers to make informed decisions in strategic sourcing, announced that it has secured $10M (approx €8.62M) in its Series A round of funding.

The fundraise comes early for Archlet, as it raised its $2.8M Seed round in January 2021. The additional capital will allow Archlet to further boost product development and to expand into new markets.

The round was led by HV Capital. Existing investors Wingman Ventures, Senovo, and La Famiglia also participated in this round. Business Angel Matthias Hilpert completed the round and said he will continue to support Archlet on its journey.

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HV Capital invests $10M in Archlet’s Series A

Archlet has successfully closed a $10M Series A funding round that will fuel and accelerate our growth journey even further. This round would not have been possible without the incredible team at HV Capital and the support and sparring from our existing investors. Additionally, we look forward to welcoming our new business angel, Matthias Hilpert, who will assist with strategic advice and action planning.

While the pace at Archlet is higher than ever before, we have taken a moment to reflect on our crazy journey. Since we founded Archlet two years ago, we have been on an incredibly satisfying and humbling adventure with many ups and downs, and, as a team, we have learned something valuable from every one of them. In 2021, our customer base has grown like never before, our dreams, goals, and visions have followed. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that makes the A-Team so exceptional, and we are very proud to be part of this crew.

Every day, the team works hard to get us closer to our vision of seamlessly connecting buyers and suppliers in the global supply chains. And every day, our user experience becomes better and even more intuitive. We are already well on the way, but with our additional funding, we are another step closer to offering a powerful end-to-end sourcing experience that can be used by any buyer in any organization.

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Connecting Foods Takes First Prize at EIT Digital Challenge 2021

EIT Digital, the European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation, has announced the winners of its EIT Digital Challenge scaleup contest 2021.

This year’s 20 finalists were chosen from a record number of 409 scaleups from 33 countries who applied in this 8th edition of the EIT Digital’s flagship contest for digital deep tech companies. The companies applied in one of five strategic innovation areas: Digital Tech, Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Finance and Digital Wellbeing.

The first prize was bagged by the French foodtech and blockchain platform, Connecting Food. The other two winners of the competition are Italy-based Cubbit and Germany-based NECT GmbH.

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