Mojo Vision raises 45M for AR contact lenses with sports applications

Vision bills itself as the Invisible Computing Company. It is announcing strategic partnerships with augmented reality, wearable technology, and personal performance data.

The additional funding includes investments from Amazon Alexa Fund, PTC, Edge Investments, HiJoJo Partners, and others.

Existing investors NEA, Liberty Global Ventures, Advantech Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, Motorola Solutions, and Open Field Capital have also participated.

Mojo Vision is engaging in several strategic partnerships with fitness brands to address the unmet performance data needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts.

Through these strategic partnerships and the market expertise the companies provide, Mojo Vision will explore additional smart contact lens interfaces and experiences to understand and improve the delivery of data for athletes of varying skill levels and abilities.

This significant and sustained growth in the wearable tech market is led by companies that continue to refine and release fitness trackers, smartwatches, smartphone apps, and other wearable devices aimed largely at bettering the user experience for sports and fitness enthusiasts.

However, even though today’s athletes rely on wearable tech, there is a substantial appetite for devices that can better deliver access to real-time data about their performance — 83% of respondents said they would benefit from data in real-time or in the moment.

Mojo calls this experience Invisible Computing. These new investments bring Mojo Vision’s total funding to date to $205 million.

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Cloud market platform Tackle.io nabs 100M

Tackle.io, the Idaho-based cloud marketplace platform using zero engineering to help software providers generate revenue through cloud commerce, today announced it raised a $100 million Series C funding round.

Tackle claims its zero-engineering platform reduces the time for software providers to list and sell their products on cloud marketplaces while providing granular transaction reporting.

Tackle CEO, John Jahnke, told VentureBeat in an exclusive email interview that several companies are now taking advantage of the increased speed, convenience, and efficiency of software procurement via the cloud marketplaces on the back of pandemic-induced acceleration in cloud spending.

Jahnke said Tackle’s cloud marketplace platform requires little to no time or resources from technical teams to get started — ensuring technical decision-makers who would otherwise be responsible for building and maintaining their company’s marketplace listing can rely on Tackle to handle the heavy lifting.

The cloud marketplace has witnessed a boom in the last two years and is poised to grow even more exponentially moving into 2022 and ahead.

According to an industry report by Gartner, the worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) public services market grew 40.7% in 2020 to a total of $64.3 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2019.

Tackle’s State of the Cloud Marketplaces Report showed that 61% of buyers said they had purchased software through one of the cloud marketplaces in the last year — a 39% increase over 2020.

The report further predicted marketplace growth will happen even faster than previously reported, expecting $50 billion in throughput by the end of 2025.

Tackle says it is helping software sellers meet buyers where they are as they continue this rapid digital shift and enabling sellers to fine-tune the inclusion of cloud in their go-to-market (GTM).

Tackle’s founder and chief technology officer, Dillon Woods, said Tackle innovates for the independent software vendor (ISV) community.

“Our customers love how we build seller and buyer experiences on top of the marketplaces that eliminate friction and ultimately deliver on every buyer’s desired outcome: access to the software they need to innovate,” said Dillon.

This means IT teams, who typically own the cloud budget, can leverage marketplace purchases to utilize unspent dollars, added Jahnke.

Tackle’s mission is to provide a global enterprise-grade platform focused on bringing a marketplace cloud GTM to the masses,” said Jahnke.

The Tackle platform makes leveraging marketplaces a business decision versus a distraction to product and engineering teams, and Tackle’s focused experts have helped guide us along our journey from the first transaction to at-scale revenue across the clouds,” said Grieve.

Jahnke said Tackle has helped its customers reduce their time to list on the marketplaces from months to weeks, accelerate deal velocity, reduce sales cycle times, and transact more than $400 million in revenue across the AWS, Azure, GCP, and Red Hat marketplaces.

Tackle is also helping customers navigate cloud payment systems as they scale and grow their marketplace offerings, according to Jahnke.

Finance and operations: Tackle is a partner in helping software providers operationalize their marketplace strategies, especially as they grow and scale.

The company delivers streamlined data and real-time reporting and insights so finance teams can attribute the clear impact the marketplace has on their revenue with actionable insights for mitigating risk and maximizing growth.

While Jahnke says that Tackle does not have any direct competitors, Craft.co lists Resilia, Egnyte, and CustomerGauge as some of Tackle’s top competitors.

Founded by Woods, and COO Brian Denker in 2016, Tackle has experienced tremendous growth since inception, tripling the company’s team size — starting 2021 with 52 employees and closing the year out with approximately 160 employees.

Currently, Tackle has over 350 customers, including AppDynamics, CrowdStrike, Dell, NewRelic, HashiCorp, Looker, McAfee, Okta, Talend, VMware, and PagerDuty.

This funding round was co-led by Coatue and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners.

The additional capital comes nine months after a $35 million Series B funding and brings the company’s valuation to $1.25 billion.

The company has raised $148 million total in equity investment to date.

Formant raises 18M to help companies manage fleets of robots

The robotics industry continues to grow as enterprises look to automate an increasing number of processes across their organizations.

There’s a legitimate fear that robots could replace some of the work done by humans.

On the other hand, robots could work — and are working — together with humans to solve complex problems.

A Loup Ventures report predicts that 34% of the robots sold by 2025 will be collaborative, with the “collaborative robotics” market surging to $1 billion in revenue by 2020.

Whether collaborative or otherwise, orchestrating robots requires tools accessible to engineers as well as the business decision-makers at the companies deploying them.

One supplier is Formant, a startup founded by former Google, Savioke, and Redwood Robotics software engineers, roboticists, and product managers to develop a cloud-based platform for managing large fleets of robots.

Formant founder Jeff Linnell says that early on in his robotics career, it became clear that companies needed a platform where they could manage all their machines and autonomous devices.

“We quickly found that every robotics company is unique.We give operators the ability to jump in and control a robot remotely if there is an issue. Formant also lets teams take control of their robots from anywhere in the world with an internet connection,” said Linnell.

Its intervention builder can integrate with existing help desk tools to assist with identifying problematic edge cases, while Formant’s report creation tool can turn metrics and trends (e.g., technical failures, battery lives, distance traveled, sensor temperature) into exportable one-pagers for stakeholders.

Formant’s platform, which supports over 200 robot types, is handling 50,000 live video streams and 5 billion data points per month, according to Linnell.

Current clients include Fortune 100s and early-stage robotics startups like BP, Canvas, Diligent, Graze, Burro, and John Deere subsidiary Blue River, which is using Formant to capture data generated by robotic farm machinery out in the fields.

The people we sell to want to have 5,000 robots running around their fields — and they want to sit in a room and see them on a screen.

But Linnell says that 20-employee Formant is on track to double in size in 2022.

On the product side we will be making significant investments in our integrations and APIs, ensuring that Formant is extensible and that our customers can easily build their apps and workflows inside our platform,” Linnell said.

Formant’s total capital now stands at $23 million.

Tech Funding Recap for Sept. 1, 2021

If you’re a tech company, you must have your finger on the pulse of the world’s ever changing landscape. You must be ready to move with the latest trends and provide people with the products they need now.

Data Dome and Salt Security are two tech companies that are on the top of the latest developments. They recently completed funding rounds that help them create products that make the world go. Here’s what you can expect from them in the near future.

Data Dome

The pandemic has given eCommerce an unprecedented boost which is beneficial to the many businesses that sell products online. Unfortunately, it has also increased the number of bot attacks that compromise the security of companies and their customers.

Data Dome is a New York based bot defense startup that protects marketplaces from payment fraud, account takeover and web scraping. The company’s platform engine processes over a trillion pieces of data daily from 25 points of presence worldwide.

The company is the brainchild of Benjamin Fabre and Fabien Grenier, the team that was also responsible for the social media monitoring company, TrendyBuzz. They realized that hackers were using similar technologies to build bots that attack eCommerce businesses. Their inside insight allowed them to come up with solutions to combat these attacks.

The bot prevention software uses AI to decide whether access should be granted to visitors entering via website, mobile app or API. The algorithms are fine tuned to identify attacks and analyze billions of requests daily to prevent threats and protect against breaches.

The company has recently closed a $35 million funding round bringing its total raised to almost $40 million. The money will be used to help Data Dome build its customer base.

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Salt Security

Application programming languages (APIs) are responsible for interactions between software programs. They set the standards for allowable calls and requests including the methods for creating preferable data formats and the best conventions to follow.

Web traffic is rapidly converting to API traffic and, as a result, APIs are facing increasing threats. Experts predict that by 2022 APIs will be the most frequent attack target accounting for multiple data breaches on enterprise web apps.

Salt Security is a California based startup that provides a solution for preventing these attacks. It uses AI and machine learning to analyze a copy of traffic sourced via the web, mobile, microservice, software-as-you-go, and internet of things app APIs and uses the information to better understand each API and identify a baseline of normal behavior. This allows it to determine abnormal behaviors that may signify an attack.  

The company is led by Roey Eliyahu, a former elite cybersecurity veteran with the Israel Defense Forces. During his service, he found various APIs that were “surprisingly simple to hack.” He also determined that the security technologies in place were unable to identify attacks.

He joined forces with cofounder Michael Nicosia to build Salt Security, a company that uses machine learning to analyze full communication and consider different factors to determine how an API reacts to attacks. The unique approach is effective in protecting technologies providing a more efficient solution.

The company recently raised $70 million in a series C funding round. The money will be used to expand R & D and sales and marketing and increase customer satisfaction.

Tech Funding Recap for Aug. 18, 2021

Technology comes into play in almost everything we do. It helps us connect with others, it makes it easier to perform work-related activities, and it makes everyday life more convenient.

Companies in the tech field are constantly doing research to stay on the cutting edge and meet the demands of modern life. Digital Asset and Active Campaign are two businesses that recently completed funding rounds that will help them reach their output goals. Read on to find out what you can expect from them in the near future.

Active Campaign

Active Campaign is a company dedicated to helping businesses facilitate email marketing, customer relations, and the managing of ad campaigns. It uses machine learning, AI and customized workflows to provide unique, customized experiences for their clients. The flows are contained within a visual automation map that determines which are connected and active and which require adjustment.

The company’s platform allows clients to send emails and messages based on where the customer is in the funnel, (i.e. whether they have engaged with the company, visited the site, or are ready to purchase). The platform tools let managers segment the audience and provide auto responses and scheduled emails in accordance with the customer’s status. It offers a drag and drop email designer that allows users to access features like revision histories, analytics, geotracking, social sharing and image hosting.

It also supports spit testing that enables managers to send emails with different subject lines and a variety of calls to action along with metrics on conversion rates and opens so they can determine which strategies are most effective.

Active Campaign has recently announced the closing of a $240 million fundraising campaign, bringing them to a $3 billion plus valuation.

Digital Asset

Digital Asset is a blockchain based app development platform that’s flagship product is distributed ledger technology for banks, financial, healthcare and insurance institutions. The company claims that the blockchain can transform disparate silos into synchronized networks that provide maximum efficiency, consistent data and minimal errors.

The company is responsible for the development of an open source contracting language known as DAML. The language is designed to run on various ledgers, and it is used for premade scripts that address use cases like reducing credit risks and repackaging mortgage-backed securities. The language can run on a variety of conventional database technologies.

It also offers a hosting platform, DABL, which can be used by developers to put their DAML scripts into production. DABL helps eliminate the deployment, scaling and management of distributed apps by functioning as a live environment for apps that promote communication between people and industries.

Digital Asset’s featured product is its distributed ledger system which is to be adopted by the Australian Securities Exchange in 2023. It uses DAML and the ISO 20022 protocol messaging standard to offer improved performance and security along with new functions.

The company recently announced the completion of a $120 million D funding series. The money will be used to expand its team and products and create a protocol that allows data to interact with various blockchains and databases.

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Tech Funding Recap for August 11, 2021

Nowadays tech is what makes the world go round. Companies are keeping up with demand by continually fundraising so they have the resources to create innovative products that make our lives more convenient.

Aisera and Rapid API are two firms that have recently completed fundraising rounds to help them take the next steps in expansion. Read on to find out what you can expect from them in the future.

Rapid API

The tech world is seeing a boom in Application Programming Interface (API) Technology as organizations are saying goodbye to microservice based applications and focusing on splitting apps into smaller, more functional components to increase agility and efficiency. In doing so, they must turn to third parties to avoid having to develop the necessary technology from scratch.

Rapid API is that third party.

Founded in San Francisco in 2014, Rapid API helps developers connect to thousands of public API’s providing them with the means to access a wealth of data and perform innumerable tasks. The company is also responsible for Enterprise Hub, a white label version of Rapid API that helps businesses build marketplaces for external and internal API.

Rapid API has successfully closed a funding round of $63 million which followed a $50 million series B from last year. They plan to invest in key areas based on the feedback of their enterprise customers.

Their focus will be on continuing to grow the Rapid API Enterprise Hub to include additional tooling. They will be adding capabilities such as API security for a seamless integration between the API Marketplace and Enterprise Hub products. They will also be adding support for new API types while facilitating multi-cloud and multi-gateway integration.

Aisera

According to a 2018 McKinsey survey, 66% of executives have identified closing the automation and digitization skills gap as a top priority. As a result, small and medium sized firms are expected to adopt business workflow automation at scale.

Aisera offers a multi-faceted approach for companies looking to reduce the skills gap by offering a service that integrates with existing enterprise apps to auto-complete products and workflows. It claims its platform resolves issues through a combination of robotic process automation, reinforcement learning and conversational ASI. The platform is also said to detect patterns to predict service disruptions before they occur.

The company allows customers to choose from their prebuilt workflows and intents designed for HR, IT, sales, facilities and customer service applications. Their platform offers innovative dashboards and reports for auditing with auto resolution networks and AI that provides clients with articles that offer information relevant to their given industry.

Aisera has recently announced the closing of a $40 million funding round. This will bring its total raised up to $90 million. The funds will be used to support product expansion and deployment as well as marketing and software development.

As the process automation market grows, Aisera faces stiff competition and many of its competitors have successfully completed substantial funding rounds as well. However, the company has seen a 300% growth rate every year and has a base of over 65 million users including several new enterprise customers. We’d say they’re in pretty good shape.

Tech Funding Recap for Aug. 4, 2021

Technology has provided us with many of the conveniences we enjoy today, and who knows what the future will bring? Companies are continually coming out with a new device or piece of software that provides solutions that make our lives easier. And while it may seem these new products come to us effortlessly overnight, each one takes a great deal of research and development.

Deep Instinct and Productboard are two companies who have been working hard to raise funds to put out products that provide modern solutions. Read on to find out about their recent efforts.

Productboard

Software is the data that tells a computer how to work. It is the driving force behind every tech product. So it may be shocking to find out that 19% to 23% of software projects fail.

This is usually due to businesses being unable to meet scope, budget, and time requirements. Lack of user involvement and executive support, as well as unclear communication, are other factors that come into play.

Productboard aims to change that. Founded in 2014, the service aims to tackle the common problems that come up in the DevOps stages. The platform allows companies to create single feedback repositories that provide guidance on what to build next, eliminating roadblocks in the development process.

Most software products are developed by teams that count on a variety of free tools such as PowerPoint, email, post-it notes, and Slack to communicate. They fall short on providing a clear roadmap of the best practices and structures to be integrated in the creative process.

Productboard provides teams with the capability to consolidate tickets, conversions and Slack messages in a single dashboard. They can use the tool to categorize ideas, requests and feedback and highlight insights. Managers can look over the data and send it on to developers who can rate them in terms of importance on a scale of 1-3.

The company has recently raised $72 million in a C round of funding. The funds will be used to expand their team, increase conversions, and support research and development.

Deep Instinct

Cyberattacks are a growing problem in the world of technology. Deep Instinct aims to reduce the risk of cyberattacks with a system that counts on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

While using AI to fight cybercrime is nothing new, Deep Instinct is taking a radical approach creating deep neural networks that surpass feature processing that adds an additional step and makes for a slow reaction time.

With traditional machine learning, files must be converted into a list of features that are then fed into a machine learning model instead of being processed directly. This slows things down considerably.

Deep instinct offers a solution in the form of an end-to-end deep learning system that uses the raw data as input without the need to convert it. The company trains models in its lab by feeding it millions of malicious and legitimate files so it can tell the good from the bad. Training is performed in the lab and not on customer premises making it even more convenient for users.

The company recently announced the completion of a $100 million funding round making for a total of $200 million raised.

Tech Funding Recap for July 21, 2021

Technology plays a role in almost everything we do. Updates are constantly being made to make life more convenient. Companies must be innovating on an ongoing basis to keep up with the demand.

Orca and Dataminr are two firms on the cutting edge of technology. Both recently completed funding rounds that will help them move forward in expanding their businesses. Read on to find out how they will be using the money they raised.

Dataminr

Data analytics is a driving force in today’s world of tech. Companies use the data they collect to determine trends and improve products and marketing strategies to help them better connect with their target audiences.

Dataminr provides insightful analytics via a discovery platform that detects patterns of events and information from public data signals. The platform claims to perform trillions of computations a day across billions of public data inputs. It studies text, images, videos, and logs from sensors drawing from over 100,000 sources including blogs, social media, web forums, radio and audio transmissions, cyber signals, internet of things devices and the dark web.

The company produces a variety of products that use AI to parse and analyze the data it collects. These are used by businesses, newsrooms, and individuals to detect high impact events and emerging risks. For instance, one of the world’s largest airlines uses it to detect events that will require adjustment in flight schedules. Signals on breaking events are delivered to clients nearly four times ahead of wire services.

The New York based company recently announced the closing of a $475 million fundraising campaign making for a post-money valuation of $4.1 billion. The funds will be used to accelerate the growth of its corporate business line and to expand international investments.

Orca

With more businesses going digital, cybersecurity has been an issue that’s on everybody’s mind. While security software is available, it’s often costly and difficult to manage.

Orca provides a cloud native solution that provides high level security without the complexity making it a favorite for many businesses.

The platform’s ease of use is largely due to its SideScanning technology that automatically reads cloud configurations to detect risks and vulnerabilities. It eliminates the need to install numerous security agents so it can be launched to perform scans almost immediately. It also helps with compliance across major cloud providers like Google Cloud, Microsoft AZURE, and Amazon Web Services.

Additionally, it makes it easier for developers and security teams to collaborate. Teams no longer need to slow application development by stopping to check in with each other. The ability to instantly launch the program eliminates the friction by giving each team insight on the issues that need to be fixed.

The platform’s ability to provide a solution that so many businesses have been looking for has allowed the startup to grow exponentially. Orca’s annual revenues rose 1000% in 2020. They are keeping the momentum going and just announced a $210 million venture capital round. Considering previous funding rounds of about $300 million, the company currently has a valuation of $1.2 billion.

Tech Funding for July 14, 2021

The world of technology is growing in leaps and bounds. Companies that produce tech products must stay on their toes to keep up with the ever changing climate of the industry.

Feedback Loop and Language I/O are two companies who are on the pulse of tech consumer’s needs and demands. They have recently completed funding campaigns that will enable them to continue releasing products to maintain growth. Read on to find out about their future trajectories.

Language I/O

In today’s world of business, there is a real need for translating information so businesses are better able to communicate with consumers around the world. Many shoppers feel more comfortable making purchases on a web site that is written in their own language. They also prefer to deal with customer service agents that speak their native tongue.

Language I/O provides a platform that claims to offer more accurate and personalized translations. It searches for product names, acronyms, industry jargon, slang, and misspellings to translate as smoothly as possible. Customers assist in the process by telling the platform what words they want in their dictionary making for improvements as time goes by.

It also uses an unsupervised neural network called a self-organizing app to detect and flag words it does not comprehend before publishing them on the internet. A second model uses the data to identify potential glossary terms while integrating feedback that allows it to adjust and improve.

The platform currently focuses on channels like email, chat, articles and social messaging, but it is looking to expand beyond basic support to extend services wherever businesses require translation. This may include gamer to gamer chats, virtual meetings and learning management.

The company recently raised $5 million which will be devoted to customer acquisition and hiring new talent.

Feedback Loop

Feedback Loop is a necessary part of company growth. However, it can take a long time for companies to get the feedback they need and when it does come in, it tends to come at irregular intervals.

Feedback Loop offers a new approach making market research ongoing so it’s aligned with real time demands and poised to account for changing attitudes and opinions gleaned from continuous customer input.

The company launched as Alfa in 2014 but rebranded in 2021. It automates many of the stages involved in conducting research surveys. It can collect feedback on A/B testing carrying out comparisons between things like different marketing texts and slogans and product features and design.

The Feedback Loop platform eliminates error margins by automating the process of market research data collection. It does not require information to be recorded manually and it provides feedback in real time. This cuts down on mistakes as well as time lapses so companies are on the pulse of what their customers are looking for and can make updates as needed.

The agile research platform recently announced the closing of a $14 million funding campaign. They will be using the money to support their efforts in automating and democratizing consumer research.  

Tech Funding Recap for July 7, 2021

It seems as if there is no ceiling when it comes to tech. There is a constant demand for growth and businesses are coming out with new products that will make life more convenient on an ongoing basis.

FourKites and iFoodDS are two companies who have recently completed funding rounds that will put them in a better position to keep up with demand. Read on to find out what they will be focusing on the not-too-distant future.

iFoodDS

iFoodDS provides data management solutions for fresh food suppliers. The company started out in 2006 working with key players in the food industry developing safety practices and metrics for the growth and distribution of leafy greens. In 2013, it expanded in a tech direction introducing software solutions for food safety data management.

The company platform captures data for environmental assessments, inspections, inventory, shipping and receiving, corrective actions and more. It performs risk assessments as well as preseason, preplant and pre-harvesting management. It accesses a science team to build models for environmental monitoring. It develops systems to identify areas at high risk for pathogens and integrates safety programs across various locations.

The applications the platform offers automates forms, checklists and logs ensuring data is safely stored in the cloud. Distributors and grocery retailers can use its tools for measuring the quality metrics of the food they are receiving. Clients will receive email alerts when freshness and quality are not up to standards and will be provided with information on the cause of low quality.

It is hopeful that the technology will lead to a reduction in food recalls and the expense that comes with it and that it will minimize the occurrence of foodborne illnesses. For people who get a foodborne illness, taking a cleanse & detox regimen is important. 

iFood DS recently completed a $15 million funding campaign. The money will be used to support product development and support category and market expansions.

FourKites

Inventory is an important part of growing a business. Those with superior knowledge of their supply lines tend to outperform their competition. However, statistics show that 63% of retailers have inaccurate inventory reports.

FourKites provides a solution tracking over 1 million shipments daily and 1 billion events monthly. The company focuses on logistics and transportation with electronic logging devices that improve delivery and optimize supply chains based on data and artificial intelligence prediction capabilities.

The platform offers clients a real time view of supply chain and carrier performance for shipments so they can foresee losses and deliver notifications to recipients. It provides insights for store operations, product availability, labor planning, and tracking for in-transit freight.

In September 2019, FourKites expanded its services to launch a FourKites Community forum that allows customers to connect with shippers and third-party logistics providers within the network. This will help the rapidly growing company achieve its goal of reaching $100 million in revenue in the next two years.

FourKites recently announced the closing of a $100 million series D funding campaign that raises its total to over $200.5 million. The capital will be used for product development and to help the company expand its global reach.