FourKites registers $30m investment as staff are laid off

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A document filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows that supply chain visibility provider FourKites has raised $30 million as part of a Series D-1 financing round. News of the investment follows reports FourKites is laying off dozens of staff, some of whom are based in Europe.

FourKites registers $30m investment as staff are laid off
Photo by Jerome Monta on Unsplash

The information regarding the aforementioned investment can be found on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website.

An update published on August 25th reads as follows:

“2,500,000 shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock were sold for $30,000,000, as well as Warrant issued and exercisable for up to 907,068 shares of the company’s common stock, with an exercise price of $0.01 per share ( $9,070,68 total purchase price).”

According to TechCrunch, the figures above indicate that FourKites hopes to close the financing round with $80 million in capital. The same news outlet also said that FourKites had reached out to them on Friday to clarify that the investment was “in part from FedEx as part of a strategic partnership announced in June”.

In a joint-statement concerning June’s announcement, both FedEx and FourKites said their strategic alliance would “provide businesses with new, more robust real-time visibility capabilities to help solve their most pervasive supply chain challenges, become more efficient, and unlock new growth opportunities.”

However, the precise value of the investment did not feature in the announcement.

According to ‘sources familiar with FourKites operations’ cited by FreightWaves, the company has laid off some employees in general sales. Some staff whose work was related to FourKites’ yard management software have also reportedly been laid off, as have some personnel in product and engineer roles. FreightWaves’ source said the supply chain visibility provider would outsource some roles to India.

Trans.INFO sources understand that around 50 FourKites staff based in Europe will be among those to leave the company. Update: FourKites has told Trans.INFO the above figure regarding Europe is “quite off”. The company added that the layoffs impacted 8% of its global staff.

In the same report, FreightWaves also learned that FourKites are to “sunset” document management platform Haven.

When FourKites acquired Haven back in April 2021, the company was labelled as a “next-generation visibility solution that redefines end-to-end management for international ocean shipments.” However, in an internal company email seen by FreightWaves, the company has now been described as “highly unprofitable”.

Update: FourKites has issued a following statement regarding the Freightwaves report:

“Regarding Haven, we are not sunsetting or dismantling the entire document management module. Rather, we have consolidated the document storing and management modules from Haven into our core Dynamic Ocean platform, and it is an extremely valuable component of the platform for our customers. These features continue to differentiate us in the market.”

“We are sunsetting very specific modules that were originally built for a few legacy Haven customers. Those specific modules are highly customized to those customers, and are simply not scalable or viewed as relevant to the market as a whole.”

When asked by Trans.INFO about FourKites’ acquisition strategy in June of this year, CEO Mathew Elinjickal stressed the importance of synergies.

“Acquisitions are inherently tough and can dilute focus when not executed properly and when the synergies are not there. For this reason, we continue to be highly selective when making acquisitions, and only move forward if an acquisition can be a real game changer for the company,” Elinjickal told Trans.INFO.

The CEO added:

“Moveover, we really have to measure ROI for every dollar that we put into the market. That’s what investors expect. What investors are really looking for is a path to profitability. They’re not looking at how much it should grow year over year. Yes, it’s great if you’re growing. But if you don’t have a path to profitability in the next 24 months, then you’re not going to be rewarded in public markets.”

FourKites says it is currently tracking more than 2.8 million shipments daily across road, rail, ocean, air, parcel and courier, and reaching more than 200 countries. The company adds that it works with 1,100 of the world’s most recognised brands — including 9 of the top-10 CPG and 18 of the top-20 food and beverage companies.

The supply chain visibility provider was also named as one of only two leaders in the Gartner 2022 Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms.

Photo by Jerome Monta on Unsplash

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