COVID put spotlight on FreightTech — and interest is still there

This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Domestic Supply Chain Summit on Wednesday. 

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The staying power of venture capital for FreightTech.

DETAILS: Venture capital providers are tightening their focus. Natan Ruddy, an investor in Ironspring Ventures, explains why VCs remain interested in FreightTech companies, despite the tougher funding environment.


On VC interest in supply chain tech during the pandemic: “I think there was a noticeable difference in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where we really saw this real tailwind in the direction of all supply chain tech. I think [supply chain tech] has always been important but it didn’t get the attention that it really needed [before the pandemic]. And while the waters have cooled a little bit over the last six to nine months, I still feel that the broader understanding of why supply chain tech is valuable is still very relevant and will still propel the space forward.”

On what the current startup focus should be: “It’s going to be a tough environment. Folks should be preparing to extend the runway. ‘Grow at all costs’ is not the name of the game anymore. You should be looking at measured, sustainable growth in a way that you can actually hit milestones on plan. That is really going to be what a lot of investors are looking for going forward.”

On continued interest in FreightTech: “Across the VC ecosystem, we’ve all generally been experiencing the same deal slowdown. There’s no doubt this has impacted all of the sectors we cover. What I will say, though, is that supply chain does have a level of staying power that doesn’t necessarily permeate other categories, such as [consumers-oriented tech] that may be more superfluous at times. For instance, one trend recently is around onshoring and nearshoring. This has really come to light in regards to how China has behaved on the manufacturing front, which has driven a lot of folks in the U.S. to look at bringing their supply chains back home or to Mexico or other countries. A lot of the startups we invested in or looked at during COVID were working on international supply chains and now they’re focused on: How can a company be as nimble as possible to reshore or nearshore? That’s something I’m very excited to watch over the next six to nine months.” 

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Editor: FreightWaves Staff