Press release: Smartlane receives financing in excess of €6 million
Munich, 11 January 2022 – In addition to €1.7 million in EU support funds, JOVA Direkt Invest GmbH and existing investors have joined a Series-A financing scheme totalling more than €4.5 million for the SaaS provider specialising in AI-based transport optimisation.
- Self-learning dispatch automation software: Through its AI, Smartlane Transport Intelligence digitalises the time-consuming manual dispatching and transport planning process in part-load distribution logistics, even when the data basis is patchy.
- Planning for growth: Smartlane plans to double the size of its team, strengthen its market leadership for AI-based transport optimisation, and continue its product development towards enabling autonomous logistics systems to fully manage the dispatch process.
- Part-load networks under pressure: With a transport volume of 130 million units during the year 2021, operators in this segment are facing an enormous and steadily growing challenge while specialised personnel, such as dispatchers and drivers, are in short supply.
- Benefits for transport logistics operators: Smartlane Transport Intelligence can put up to 21% more shipments on the road while cutting costs, reducing planning time by up to 90%, and shrinking the CO2 footprint by optimising resource utilisation.
The Munich-based software company Smartlane has already built a reputation in the multidrop delivery business. Its software Smartlane Transport Intelligence, the first AI-based solution for automated, optimised transport planning in part-load distribution, has attracted a new investor, JOVA Direkt Invest. The fresh capital will allow Smartlane to expand its team and drive its product development vigorously to further strengthen its leading market position as a provider of an AI-based transport optimisation SaaS solution.
Dr. Mathias Baur, Monja Mühling and Florian Schimandl established Smartlane in 2015. They share a common vision: to enable the logistics industry to rely on fully automated, optimised and sustainable transport planning and a smart dispatch process capable of supporting future autonomous transport systems.
“We are excited to see Smartlane playing a central role on the digitalisation roadmap of many carriers engaged in multi-drop distribution. Our solution cuts the dispatch overhead by up to 90% while increasing the reliability and precision of the planning process immensely. This means that the growing volume of shipments can be handled more efficiently even in times of limited resources,” says Monja Mühling, Smartlane Co-Founder and CEO, commenting on the success of her company.
The transport logistics industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation. A shortage of trained staff in nearly all segments, and rising energy costs, combined with a growing awareness of the importance of green logistics, are giving fresh impetus to digitalisation initiatives in logistics. At the same time, new digital forwarders increase the competitive pressure while the volume of shipments continues to increase, driven by the pandemic. As a consequence, many logistics companies have reached the limits of their manual dispatching capacity. Digitalising the dispatch process is therefore much more than another step to optimise business operations; it has become a matter of survival.
The Smartlane software solution has arrived just in time, addressing the key challenges facing today’s part-load distribution business. To avoid disrupting the business routine of multidrop carriers, the software is implemented in parallel with ongoing business operations, letting the customer experience the benefits of the digital solution directly and immediately.
Dr. Rigbert Fischer, CEO of blueworld.group, the investment management company providing exclusive, direct support to the new investor, explains: “Smartlane Transport Intelligence is the cutting-edge technology for automating planning and optimisation processes in transport logistics. This software solution for carriers is the entry ticket to effective, future-ready, and above all, sustainable transport planning.”
In October 2021, the jury of the discriminating Eurpean innovation promotion programme EIC Accelerator found the Smartlane solution so convincing it awarded the company a €1.7 million grant.
Smartlane GmbH, established in 2015, is a Munich-based software company and the developer of Smartlane Transport Intelligence, an AI-based software for transport optimisation in the logistics industry. Since the company’s seed phase, Frank Thelen has been a Smartlane investor through his venture capital fund Freigeist. Additional investors include Ideenschaft Invest, F-LOG Ventures, Ippen.Media and MobilityFund. The result of many years of research conducted by the founders at Munich Technical University, Smartlane Transport Intelligence enables step-by-step digitalisation and automation of transport planning (dispatch). The self-learning, cloud-based technology for the first time enables a reduction of the dispatching effort by up to 90% while optimising resource utilisation and cutting both, operating costs and CO2 emissions by up to 21%. Customers include numerous part-load distribution SMBs, including several members of the Cargoline network.
blueworld.group is the consultant of JOVA Direkt Invest GmbH, an investment fund of the Vaillant Family Office, and represents JOVA as its investment manager. blueworld.group is a next-generation investor. With a passion for technological progress and innovation, blueworld.group focuses on investment, development and optimisation. As a capital provider and innovator, blueworld.group supports ambitious, growth-oriented enterprises and new business models in a diverse range of industries. blueworld.group works closely with trailblazing companies and their leaders to drive excellence and true, sustainable value-add, always with the purpose to reconcile progress and sustainability across all dimensions.