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Chekkit’s Traceability and Consumer Intelligence SaaS now available on the SAP store

Chekkit Technologies today announced that its Traceability and Consumer Intelligence SaaS is now available on SAP ® Store, which recently merged with SAP App Center as the single digital marketplace for SAP and partner offerings.

By integrating with SAP Advanced Track & Trace for Pharmaceuticals, Chekkit’s Traceability and Consumer Intelligence SaaS helps Pharmaceutical Producers, Marketing Authorisation Holders (MAH), and Pharmaceutical Contract Manufacturers (CMO) comply with traceability & anti-counterfeit regulations in Nigeria and across Africa, giving them access to real-time market data, patient insights, and supply chain visibility (diversion tracking). This service allows for a real-time remote understanding of product supply chain journeys as well as data-driven decision-making using insights on product efficacy, side effects, and preferences in order to serve consumers better.

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Inspiring Innovators: Taro Sasaki CEO and Founder of Hacobu, On being a little ‘crazy.’

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how founders, CEOs, and presidents of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Taro Sasaki

Taro Sasaki has always enjoyed inventing things, even from a very young age. It is no surprise that his path led him to entrepreneurship, where he uses his love of discovery and educational training to create new businesses. With a background in consulting, Taro decided he wanted a more international perspective, so he attended business school in the United States. After spending two years in the States as a consultant, he returned to Japan, where a colleague shared an opportunity for him to be the CEO of a new beauty discovery eCommerce platform. His next steps led him to launch a new company that also provided goods in the food industry. With a taste for entrepreneurship, Taro decided that he wanted to launch a business that would look to solve problems that could make a difference in his community.

With this goal in mind, Taro Sasaki founded Hacobu. Hacobu developed MOVO, a cloud-based integrated logistics solution and operations management system utilizing in-vehicle terminals. It allows users to connect with carriers and shipping companies online. The platform accumulates distribution data from various companies to optimize the physical distribution system. In doing so, saving time, money, and providing data for properly sourcing suppliers to make the process running efficiently for the end users in communities both small and large. Toyota Industries Corporation, Nestle, and Unilever are just a few companies that utilize Hacobu’s innovative technology.

“It is hard to be an entrepreneur because if you think too logically, you might not take the risk and miss something. You must apply some logic, be smart, but also something you need to be a little crazy.”

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Astraea and NaVis Identified as Leaders in Location and Geospatial Intelligence by IDC

Astraea and NaVis were identified as innovative solutions for location and geospatial intelligence in a recent IDC Market Glance report. Creating intelligence is only possible when an enterprise combines data (internal or external) with analytics and has the underlying tools and structures to store, organize, and maintain the data. Therefore, examining the location and geospatial intelligence market requires considering data, analytics and visualization, and location-enabled tools.

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7 SAP.iO Startups Identified by CB Insights as Leaders Innovating Connected Packaging and Labeling Across the Supply Chain

From authentication tech to cold chain packaging, CB Insights looked at the companies offering connected packaging and labeling tech to improve transparency, sustainability, and freshness across the supply chain. Seven startups from the SAP.iO Foundries portfolio were identified as leaders in the space. Scantrust was recognized in the Authentication Tech category, CodeCheck and EVRTHNG were recognized in the Connected Packaging & Smart Labels category, EON was recognized in the Fashion Traceability category, Algramo and Limeloop were recognized in the Reusable Packaging Platforms category, and Connecting Food was recognized in the Food Traceability category.

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Manufacturing companies plan their material purchases for production with this AI

Read why SAP Customers like Merck work with GenLots

Dear reader,

If you are looking for …

  1. Latest AI innovation for more sustainable supply chain management
  2. A way to rapidly decrease costs in upstream logistics
  3. An increased digitalization of your operations
  4. A better understanding of your supply chain triangle (costs, cash, and service)
  5. A product already integrated with your SAP system

…for your manufacturing company, then read on:

Why AI in upstream logistics and why now?

SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce ($46 trillion) and 99 of the 100 largest companies in the world are SAP customers (SAP Corporate Factsheet, July 2022). SAP’s utmost priority is to connect these enterprises in a global sustainable business network.

As we partner with innovative startups like GenLots, we still put our customers first and we leverage the vast number of businesses worldwide that run on SAP to act smarter, more efficiently and more sustainably.

At the recent Viva Technology 2022 in Paris — Europe’s biggest tech event where business meets innovation, my team at SAP.iO (SAP’s startup program) was thrilled to host our partner startup GenLots and discuss on stage how they’ve helped SAP’s customer Merck, a large pharmaceutical company, adapt their upstream logistics (i.e. all operations related to the sourcing of goods destined to be assembled in production) to the challenges of today.

What is GenLots?

GenLots is an AI application helping leading manufacturing companies to achieve their sustainability and efficiency goals through the digitalization of supply and upstream logistics.

In practice, usage of GenLots looks like this:

Let’s say a manufacturing company uses Active Ingredient X in its production and knows the production requirements for this material for the 12 months to come, i.e. the dates on which it will be used and in which quantity. GenLots will automatically compute the Total Cost of sourcing of this material for the next 12 months, including the cost of the material itself (which can be influenced by quantity discounts), the cost of bringing a batch to the manufacturing site each time an order is placed (quality control or transport fees for example), and the cost of holding it until it is used in production (inventory cost).

According to these costs, GenLots’ AI will then optimize the timing and quantity of each order. It may group certain orders to reach a better price, reschedule some deliveries, etc. The savings associated to these changes can reach up to 10% of the Total Cost.

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Geek+ announces $100 million series E1 financing round with strategic investment from Intel, valued over $2 billion

Geek+, the global leader in autonomous mobile robot technologies, announced it has closed a new, $100 million series E1 funding series, with the company valued at over $2 billion. Investors in the round include Intel Capital, Vertex Growth, and Qingyue Capital Investment. The company will use this funding to accelerate its global market expansion and invest in its AMR technology research and development for key product innovation.

In early 2021, Geek+ closed a previously undisclosed series D financing round led by CPE. In 2021, Geek+ registered annual revenue of $150 million and over $300 million in orders. In the first half of 2022, Geek+’s order volume doubled compared to the same period in 2021, and the company expects to maintain its 100% year-on-year growth trajectory for the remainder of 2022.

“Thanks to the successful implementation of our global business strategy, the transformative value of our products, and the surge of the smart logistics market, Geek+ is well-positioned to further capture the outsized growth opportunities,” said Yong Zheng, founder and CEO of Geek+. “Geek+ has passed the stage of simply pursuing scale and is now moving towards the stage of commercial success with profitability and positive cash flow.”

“We are confident in our commercial success and future growth trajectory. The labor-intensive logistics sector has a strong demand for robotic automation, and the market is still largely underserved. With the first-mover advantage, Geek+ has already developed a solid competitive advantage in global markets, bringing in a constant driving force for business development. This, coupled with our three technology pillars of robotics, systems, and algorithms, has not only allowed Geek+ to develop a full product line, but also improve R&D efficiency while reducing R&D costs.”

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Armed with $19.5M, LiveEO plots a big data course between satellite geospatial information and industry

When it comes to geospatial and mapping data and how they are leveraged by organizations, satellites continue to play a critical role when it comes to sourcing raw information. Getting that raw data into a state that can be usable by enterprises, however, is a different story. Today, a Berlin-based startup called LiveEO, which has built a satellite analytics platform to do just that, has raised €19 million ($19.5 million) on the back of strong demand for its tech from companies working in transportation and energy infrastructure.

The rise of companies like LiveEO comes on the back of a period of rapid commercialization in infrastructure intended to be used in space, typified by companies like SpaceX but also others building, for example, a new wave of satellites themselves. As with the larger opportunity in enterprise IT, big data players like LiveEO are essentially the second wave of that development: applications built leveraging that infrastructure.

“Someone has to build applications for end users to really make it simple to use and integrate that data into processes,” explained Daniel Seidel, who co-founded and co-leads LiveEO with Sven Przywarra. “That is what we are doing at scale.”

MMC Ventures is leading the investment, which is not tied to a specific round, and in addition to €17 million of venture capital, the round also includes backing from two public bodies, the European Commission and Investitionsbank Berlin. Previous backers Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures), Helen Ventures, Matterwave and motu ventures, and new backers Segenia Capital and Hannover Digital Investments (HDInv), are also participating. LiveEO had previously raised a €5.25 million Series A in 2021, and it said that in that time, it’s tripled revenues with customers in five continents and more than doubled its headcount to about 100, with more than half of those engineers and data scientists.

As a German company, LiveEO is one of a small but growing group of startups in Europe capitalizing on increasing interest in space among investors in recent years, despite the wider pressures on tech finance. Relatively speaking, though, the sums are still modest compared with other areas of tech: LiveEO says that this €19 million round is one of the largest in earth observation tech in Europe. LiveEO is focused on enterprise, specifically industrial applications for its analytics — although given the geopolitical landscape, and how that is bringing a new host of interested parties playing the part of financiers to foster its growth, it will be interesting to see how that develops.

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SAP.iO Foundries Sustainability Spotlight: Inspectorio Modernizes Manufacturing Inspections

The collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh that killed more than 1100 people was a wake-up call to the manufacturing and inspection industries. The brothers behind Inspectorio are pioneering software to ensure transparency and worker safety.

It was a moment of truth. In 2013, the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1100 people, injuring thousands of others and making headlines as one of the deadliest industrial disasters in history. Found in the rubble alongside bodies were tags and labels identifying well-known top clothing manufacturers. The companies generally claimed, believably, that they’d had no idea the workers had been made to work under such dangerous conditions. The accident—incongruous, inhumane, inciting disgust—shook the industry to its core.

What wasn’t so obvious: The solution.

Factory inspection and audit software provider Inspectorio, at the time, was just a twinkle in the Moncayo Castillo brothers’ eyes. Carlos, Luis and Fernando, Ecuadorian-born businessmen, had distinguished themselves in other areas, from their prestigious university educations to serial entrepreneurial track records founding companies internationally. They were well aware the supply chain issues they’d faced, however challenging and expensive, were minor compared to Rana Plaza’s human tragedy. But they believed the issues were all connected.

The inspections industry was rife with corruption and incompetence. The Moncayo Castillos had taken a step to address the problem when they’d brought inspections, which are often performed by third-party agencies, in house at Asiam, the responsible sourcing agency they co-founded in 2004. That was in 2011. The solution had been a success to the point that it led to a new Asiam division, one focused on performing inspections for other companies as well. Then one of those companies complained about an order from a manufacturer, in 2015.

The brothers found themselves unable to adequately answer this customer’s questions about why an inspection had led to subpar product quality. “The client said, ‘I need you to prove to me how your employees are performing inspections,” recalls Fernando. “But the fact is we didn’t have a tool where we could see, ‘This is the exact moment where the inspector was in this place. This is how many minutes, how many seconds they spent.’” Transparency and accountability were lacking.

It was an industry wide problem, the brothers knew. Even Asiam had been using nothing more than digital cameras, pens and paper to record information in factories and other facilities. They decided to change things for everyone—or at least give them the option to do better. The Castillo Moncayos created the Inspectorio platform initially as a simple app. Today, it’s a sophisticated software-as-a-service product used by companies including Target and Crocs to help with everything from quality control and production efficiency to meeting environmental rule standards. Instead of having information stored in separate silos by factories, suppliers, retailers, brands and inspectors, it’s all now, via the cloud, in one place. Inspectorio’s Machine Learning and AI capabilities offer analysis of the data that helps customers increase efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize eco-consciousness.

Inspectorio didn’t reach such heights on its own. The Moncayo Castillos took advantage of mentorship from Boulder-based TechStars, their VC-investors, and Apple along the way. But their recent participation in the SAP.iO Foundries cohort focused on consumer and retail sustainability was transformative.

“When we talk about brands and retailers it’s not a quality issue alone anymore that we need to be concerned with,” says Fernando. “We need to talk about responsible sourcing, and that requires companies to be compliant on the social side, the environmental side, and others. So we wanted to improve on sustainability, and SAP was already leading the way.” The brothers liked its commitment to issues like zero waste and decarbonization within its own ranks, but also the way it helps clients achieve such goals via access to tools from startups that take part in its accelerator. Such companies are featured in the SAP store.

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What’s Next in High-Growth Digital Innovations

Quantum computing, the composable enterprise, and ubiquitous artificial intelligence (AI) were among the fastest-growing technology advancements that five experts saw reshaping the future of intelligent, sustainable, networked business. Here is a sampling of their insights shared during a panel discussion hosted by Kange Kaneene, vice president of SAP.iO Foundries North America, at the SAP Sapphire Orlando event.

Three Trends Drive Investments in Digital Startups

Nino Marakovic, founder and CEO of Sapphire Ventures, said that enterprise software startups have experienced record-breaking investments in the past two years, driven by the urgency of large companies adopting technology to help them transform and position themselves for the future. Originally SAP’s corporate venture capital arm, Sapphire Ventures has been an independent financial investment firm for 12 years. SAP is the largest investor in the Sapphire Ventures portfolio that totals US$10 billion.

“Last year alone, more than $60 billion was invested in startups making supply chains more sustainable, intelligent, and resilient,” said Marakovic. “Another major investment area is data and machine learning as we see more of the workflows and data move to the cloud. Companies want solutions that help customers manage, orchestrate, organize, and analyze that data. The third high-growth area is future of work. Company shifts from on-site to remote and hybrid work, [coupled with] a tight labor market and wave of employee resignations, have a created a perfect storm that’s modernizing the workplace.”

Data Saves Money and the Environment

Ivaldi Group is a great example of how startups are innovating to help supply chains hardest hit by pandemic-related disruption, in this case, in the automotive industry. Uvaldi Group participated in the SAP.iO Foundries New York City COVID-19 recovery cohort. SAP.iO Foundries is the company’s external startup accelerator. Integrating data from SAP S/4HANA customers, Ivaldi Group’s software calculates the carbon footprint of an auto supplier’s spare parts operation, analyzing potential candidates for advanced, local digital manufacturing such as 3D printing.

“Customers are interested in finding money where they didn’t know they were losing it and reducing their carbon footprint,” said Stefani Pellinen-Chavez, COO at Ivaldi Group. “We review the data, including how far a customer ships products, how long they remain in inventory, how hard it is to source these parts, and how long their factory or facility would be down if this part was not available…Suppliers might create local manufacturing centers so the community can partner with larger corporate customers.”

Holistic Planning with Connected Data Company-Wide

In an uncertain world, supply chain planning has become one of the major challenges for companies navigating disruptions. Juergen Mueller, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and chief technology officer at SAP, shared how organizations are innovating on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) to collaborate with their ecosystem, explore what-if scenarios for planning purposes and flexibility, and gain competitive advantage. He said that advanced analytics and connected data help people immediately see and act on the impact of material shortages and potential alternatives for factory production lines, suppliers and logistics partners, finance and cash flow outlook, and workforce demands.

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How Ivaldi’s On-Demand Spare Parts Reduce Costs, Carbon, and Supply Chain Snags

Ivaldi is part of a profile series featuring startups participating in the Innovation Path at Cloud Wars Expo, that took place June 28-30 in San Francisco. Ivaldi is a software supplier that aims to streamline the spare parts market for heavy industry by sending digital files, not parts, from place to place in response to customer requirements, so they can be produced on demand.

The company says its value proposition in migrating heavy industry to digital is threefold:

  • It’s cheaper to build spare parts in exact quantities in response to customer orders than it is to maintain inventory.
  • It’s more efficient to build as needed, reducing lead times.
  • There’s less carbon emission in building products on-demand, closer to the end customer, than to ship large quantities from place to place.

“Doing on-demand production of spare parts can reduce the carbon footprint of some parts by 90% compared to ordering from a centralized warehouse across the world.”
Alaina Piland, CFO of Ivaldi

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How SpecRight Digitizes Product, Packaging Specs for Greater Efficiency

Most product specifications — for the products themselves, their packaging, and other details — are managed in spreadsheets or legacy systems.

This results in data consistency and integrity challenges, access issues, and major efficiency problems. Without easy access to product and packaging data, employees aren’t able to make the quick, accurate decisions that are needed to remain competitive in the Acceleration Economy.

Those are the big issues that Specright took on with the launch of its company in 2015. “From automotive, to aerospace and food packaging, I saw that industries were struggling with inefficiencies that stemmed from a lack of packaging and product data,” says Specright CEO Matthew Wright. “I also realized any data that did exist was typically worthless because it lacked a common nomenclature. Not only was it frustrating, it was bad for business.”

The SpecRight platform is designed to digitize and manage all specification data, from raw materials to ingredients and formulas to packaging and finished goods. By digitizing and linking specifications together, companies create visibility and traceability across their supply chains. Today, more than one million products are in the Specright system, according to the company.

“From automotive, to aerospace and food packaging, I saw that industries were struggling with inefficiencies that stemmed from a lack of packaging and product data. I also realized any data that did exist was typically worthless because it lacked a common nomenclature.”

Matthew Wright, Founder and CEO of Specright

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Atlanta food waste management startup Goodr raises $8M

Atlanta food rescue startup Goodr Inc. has raised $8 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, likely the single largest investment round for the 5-year-old company.

As part of the raise, the company also received debt financing from Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc., a community development entity created by economic development agency Invest Atlanta, for $300,000.

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5 SAP.iO Startups Named Leaders in Retail Supply Chain Sustainability by CB Insights

Congratulations to SAP.iO startups Inspectorio, Roambee, SpecRight, Shippeo & Wise Systems who were among the companies recognized by CB Insights for helping retailers make their supply chains more sustainable with visibility platforms, autonomous ground delivery, and more.

This report looks at the companies helping retailers like Walmart and Amazon make their supply chains more sustainable with visibility platforms, autonomous ground delivery, and more.

Global supply chain leaders have historically prioritized efficiency and cost optimization, but with growing climate concerns and unprecedented supply chain disruption, sustainability has become central to supply chain strategies across industries.

Read Report Here…

SAP.iO Foundry Shanghai’s “Intelligent Manufacturing” cohort startup SunwayLand completes Financing

On June 10th 2022, SAP.iO Foundry Shanghai “Intelligent Manufacturing” cohort startup SunwayLand completed a financing round of 200 million yuan, led by Hangzhou Golden Investment, followed by Cornerstone Fund, SDIC, etc. This financing will be mainly used for product R&D iteration and market expansion, and seize opportunities for digital transformation and localization alternatives.

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