At Steelwedge, we believe that ongoing investment in innovation is the key to growth. As a result, we are very pleased to announce that the company has secured $22.5 million in fresh capital to invest in R&D and expand our go-to-market strategy.
The round was led by Camden Partners, a private equity firm based in Baltimore, with Mainsail Partners, Shea Ventures and CEO Pervinder Johar also participating. This funding news follows the opening of Steelwedge’s new technology, sales and services hub in Austin, Texas, as well as a host of company milestones. Now 450 global employees strong, we recently landed a spot on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list for a 500 percent revenue growth over the previous four years. In that period we added a number of blue chip customers including HP, Lenovo, GoPro, Nissan and Monsanto, and joined forces with key partners such as Salesforce.com, KPMG and PWC.
This week I sat down with Pervinder to get his take on supply chain planning and Steelwedge’s vision for continued momentum:
What’s your view of the current state of supply chain planning?
Because of the incremental approach many long-standing vendors have applied to the development of their supply chain offerings, too many companies are struggling to make real-time decisions using disjointed and patched together technologies that simply don’t work in a holistic way. Years of adding a new module here and a new capability there without any master plan have created these “Frankenstein” systems — large suites comprised of dozens of components that don’t really integrate well. As a result, there are often multiple silos within a company’s supply chain operation, and the information needed to make decisions as well as the relevant context around that information is continually getting locked in one silo or another. This breeds what I like to call “supply chain amnesia,” where important information is lost to other decision-makers down the line.
Why is Steelwedge different?
Steelwedge is focused on curing “supply chain amnesia” by allowing companies to plan and re-plan their entire supply chain, in real-time, in an integrated and collaborative way. Combining Big Data, analytics, mobile and Cloud technologies, Steelwedge is the only supply chain vendor incorporating in its platform the proven, scalable technologies that consumer and social media leaders like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter use. We want our customers to have one place to go to plan their entire supply chains — not just small pieces of it — through a user-friendly interface. We want to enable seamless and open collaboration between internal departments like Sales, Marketing and Finance and between companies and their suppliers, distributors and customers.
I see Steelwedge becoming a dominant player in the supply chain planning market, much like Salesforce.com has become the leader in CRM. This huge potential for growth is why I signed on as CEO and it’s also why I’m investing my own capital in the company during this current round of funding.
How is your previous supply chain experience informing your vision for Steelwedge?
I served nine years as CTO at Logistics.com and, after its acquisition, at Manhattan Associates, and helped the company become the dominant player in the supply chain execution space. Today, Manhattan’s market cap is approximately $3.7 billion.
And at HP, I helped transform one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the world. In the course of building HP’s supply chain into a competitive differentiator, I engaged a host of traditional and new supply chain vendors in search of the next generation platform. None of them had a truly integrated solution that allowed companies to plan their entire supply chain in real-time. Smaller vendors were all addressing the problem from different angles, solving only a piece of the puzzle. Large vendors were amassing large collections of un-integrated modules after years of acquisitions and product launches.
So the question in my mind was: who had a platform that could grow to support the next generation of supply chain planning? Steelwedge stood out. While at HP, HP selected Steelwedge and I was a customer. I understand the software, its value proposition and the immense possibilities for the platform.
We are in a fantastic position to innovate and grow. Some competitors are too large and slow to really innovate without causing substantial disruption to their business model and install base. Others are too small to have a good financial foundation to make the necessary investment. We are nimble and agile but at the same time we have a blue chip customer base that is co-innovating with us, transforming their supply chains and the way they interact with their business ecosystems. It’s a good place to be.