8 December 2021

DC Velocity: AI-based supply chain optimization startup looks to U.S. markets after $100 million valuation

Singapore-based Quincus gains backing from Boeing for its potential to connect shippers, operators, and freight forwarders.

An artificial intelligence-based software platform designed to solve global supply chain challenges says it will expand from its home base in Singapore into the U.S. and other western markets after landing a venture capital round last month that values the firm at more than $100 million, its investors said.

Singapore-based Quincus said it had completed a second close of its “series b” funding round led by AEI HorizonX, the unit of private equity firm AE Industrial Partners LP that serves as airplane manufacturer Boeing’s corporate venture capital arm. Additional participation came from initial series B investors UP.Partners and GGV Capital. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the new investments are based on a valuation of the 2014 startup at some $100 million.

Quincus’ product is a machine-learning-enabled platform that optimizes and automates shipping operations. The firm’s software as a service (SaaS) technology connects to clients’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and acts as a business operating system for users such as shipping, express, parcel, and airline companies.

The goal of that process is to upgrade users to 21st century platforms that support visibility across the supply chain and enable better optimization of routes and hubs, Quincus CEO and Co-Founder Jonathan Savoir said in a phone briefing.

According to Savoir, those steps are particularly important at a time when global inventory flows have been severely disrupted by pandemic impacts such as a leap in work from home policies, skyrocketing demand for certain goods, and the “bullwhip effect” shown when people and companies compensate for that chaos by either under-ordering or over-ordering goods.

Backed by its new funding, Quincus now plans to expand from its past focus on emerging markets in southeast Asia and the middle east, now opening offices in the U.K., Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. The firm will support that growth by growing headcount from its current level of 180 people to 400 employees over the coming year, Savoir said.

The firm’s investors pointed to its potential for connecting shippers, operators, and freight forwarders with an open operating system while reducing the industry’s overall carbon footprint.

“As logistics operators plan their future fleets – from traditional freighter aircraft to autonomous vehicles – Quincus is uniquely positioned to help their customers open and optimize completely new routes by leveraging novel cargo delivery vehicles,” Beckett Jackson, a director at AEI HorizonX, said in a release. “With our deep experience in current and future air platforms, AEI HorizonX and Boeing will create a unique partnership with Quincus to explore the future of cargo delivery. We look forward to working closely with Jonathan and his entire team.”

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