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Microsoft Ventures, Honeywell in talks to invest $40 million in software startup FarEye

FarEye’s clients include logistics firms Blue Dart and First Flight, as well as companies from other sectors such as Tata Steel Ltd. and Landmark Group.

April 13, 2020 / 09:47 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Logistics startup FarEye is in talks to raise $40 million, in a funding round led by strategic and financial investors, two people aware of the matter said, requesting anonymity.

New investors in this round will include Microsoft Ventures, the corporate investment arm of tech and software giant Microsoft; Honeywell Ventures — the investment arm of the US conglomerate which makes engineering and aerospace systems, and Eight Roads Ventures — the venture capital arm of financial services giant Fidelity.

Founded by Kushal Nahata, Gaurav Kumar and Gaurav Srivastava, FarEye helps logistics firms manage supply chains and deliveries with its software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model. It gives organisations real-time visibility and predictive intelligence to ensure on-time deliveries using mobility, data analytics and automation. Thus, it helps firms track, collaborate, predict and optimise the movement of goods.

While FarEye and Microsoft declined to comment, Honeywell did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Mint had reported on February 11 that Eight Roads may invest in FarEye.

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FarEye’s clients include logistics firms Blue Dart and First Flight, as well as companies from other sectors such as Tata Steel Ltd. and Landmark Group. It also generates over 70 percent of its revenue from overseas clients, including German logistics giant DHL International GmbH, multilevel marketing firm Amway Corp. and US-based retailer Walmart Inc., people cited above said.

Its existing investors include Deutsche Post DHL Group and venture capital firm SAIF Partners, from whom it last raised a $9.5 million Series C round in February 2018.

In November 2018, FarEye acquired Dipper Technologies for an undisclosed amount. Dipper runs a machine learning-based platform which seeks to predict the date and time of delivery, based on factors such as weather, road conditions and previous trips.

“FarEye has always preferred getting strategic investors on board who can also help them with their overseas operations, contracts and new markets, beyond just capital,” one of the people cited above said.

Logistics startups have so far tackled issues across the value chain. While e-commerce delivery firms like Delhivery and Ecom Express seek to maximise last mile penetration, firms such as Blackbuck and Rivigo bring the offline trucking logistics online, and become a marketplace to match a shipper with a trucker and provide added services such as financing, insurance and payments.

On the SaaS side, Locus also provides services similar to FarEye to automate transportation solutions. It last raised $22 million in May 2019 from Tiger Global Management and Falcon Edge Capital.

Similarly, consumer and business-facing startups such as LetsTransport and Porter work on an “Uber for trucks” model, where they provide trucks and vans on demand for transportation of goods.
M. Sriram
first published: Mar 1, 2020 11:27 am
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