Temasek-backed venture capital fund Reefknot Investments has made a strategic investment in Roambee, a Silicon Valley-headquartered on-demand supply chain visibility company, to fuel its expansion into Asia and worldwide.
Roambee leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to provide real-time monitoring of the location and condition of shipments and in-field assets. Its sensor technology and AI-based platform integrate, manage, and rationalize data from multiple sources.
Singapore-based Reefknot's investment follows Roambee’s series B1 funding round led by Anchor Group, which raised over US$18 million, and comes ahead of its series C fundraise scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.
Proceeds of the latest investment will be used for further technology innovation and expansion into new markets, including Asia. Roambee plans to open its Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore in the first quarter of 2021. It has offices in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, United Arab Emirates, India, and Indonesia.
Roambee chairman and chief executive officer Sanjay Sharma says: "The pandemic has changed the dynamics of supply drastically, lengthening any recovery period. Our goal is to expand our platform’s capabilities to include more sensor and non-sensor data sources to eliminate disruptions and reduce risks in the supply chain. Reefknot's support will allow us to fast-track the transformation of today's global supply chains through better industry insights – from port controls and trade routes."
In 2020 Roambee witnessed both new and existing customer growth. Its most recent customers include Mondelez, Lenovo, IFCO Packaging, ICICI Lombard Insurance, and the United Nations World Food Programme, among others.
According to research by Deloitte, the IoT cloud platform market is expected to grow to US$11.5 billion by 2025, from US$6.4 billion last year. Many companies, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, are looking for AI-based demand sensing algorithms to simulate multiple scenarios and plan their distribution well in advance as they witness supply-side disruptions and demand contraction. They see IoT as the best way of getting quality real-time data across their supply chain.
Reefknot managing director Marc Dragon says the Roambee investment aligns with the company’s mandate to invest in transformative technologies that drives supply chain and logistics evolution. Roambee is Reefknot’s third major investment.