Startup’s Seed Round Led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-Focused Fund, Offers Customers Reliable & Streamlined Order Infrastructure
Factor, the leading payments and order management platform for the global supply chain, announces that it has raised $6 million in seed funding, led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused fund, with participation from investors Xfund, Afore, and South Park Commons.
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Cofounders Doug Shultz and Michael Szewczyk both grew up in industrial parts of Wisconsin and have experience in the manufacturing industry. They met while working together on a graduate school project at Harvard Business School and Stanford to solve the supply chain’s “First Mile” problem — the proliferation of manual processes and limited access to data that cause shortages and delays in the very first steps of production before goods are shipped. The company now serves 250 + companies, primarily mid-sized manufacturers, that use Factor’s software to decrease the time and resources required to move from product design to finished goods.
“Most people hear ‘supply chain disruption’ and think of container ships stalled outside a port. But the overwhelming majority of disruptions happen before goods ship — in the supply chain’s First Mile,” said Doug Shultz, Factor’s co-founder and CEO. “This part of the supply chain transacts trillions of dollars each year and has never been more specialized, but the infrastructure that keeps it running hasn’t kept pace. We’re revolutionizing the supply chain’s First Mile by automating the process of ordering, tracking, and financing the supply of manufactured goods. We’re excited to partner with Darian and our outstanding investor syndicate to leverage their experience building and scaling successful technology companies.”
“Factor replaces PDFs, paper checks, and antiquated processes in a trillion-dollar market,” said Darian Shirazi, General Partner at Gradient Ventures. “We’re thrilled to partner with Doug and his team to transform the manufacturing industry and offer customers a reliable and streamlined order infrastructure.”
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Factor’s customer order volume has grown 10x in the past nine months as manufacturers have sought better supply chain solutions in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions. With this new capital, the startup will accelerate growth throughout the supply chain with a focus on building out its new just-in-time inventory financing solution, and additional features for high-volume manufacturing customers. The company is hiring across its engineering, product, and go-to-market teams.
“Factor’s technology has enabled us to increase the quantity and quality of data we are capturing from our supply base, without placing extra burden on our suppliers. It has been a game changer for our ability to track and escalate exceptions, and build a lean and reliable supply operation,” said Bryan Siegal, VP of Customer Success at Vecna Robotics, an autonomous material handling solutions provider.
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