Transportation planning solutions provider Velant Inc. has closed a $10-million second round of venture capital funding, bringing its total to $17 million in two years.
The round was co-led by 3i, an international venture capital company based in Waltham, MA, and returning investor Matrix Partners, which has offices in Boston and Silicon Valley. Matrix led Velant’s first round of funding in October 2000 as its first investment in Atlanta, and the same is now true for 3i in this latest round.
“We will use the money to expand our team and infrastructure in order to support the growth of our client base,” says Richard Alfonsi, vice president of business development and product marketing. “We will continue to build out our team of logistics experts that work in partnership with each client to configure and fine tune our transportation optimization technology. We will also continue to invest in core technology development and expand our sales and marketing efforts.”
According to Alfonsi, Velant currently employs approximately 50 people.
Velant is working with many companies across a range of industries, including food/beverage, retail, CPG, manufacturing, automotive, sanitation, LTL/parcel carriers and several others. Alfonsi says the company has two deals it can disclose … Wise Foods and LifeGas. Based in Atlanta, Wise is a leading regional snack chip manufacturer on the East Coast that has a network of 30 branch distribution centers and a large private fleet of trucks that make deliveries primarily to grocery and convenience stores. Also based in Atlanta, LifeGas is a national provider of oxygen, nitrogen and other gases for medical and dental applications that has 14 national branch locations.
Velant provides fleet and shipment planning services to companies utilizing trucks in their supply chain operations. Offered as a managed service, Velant’s Transportation Management Center solution automates and optimizes key transportation functions such as vehicle routing and scheduling, load building, fleet backhaul coordination, and shipment planning. Velant says its new approach to transportation planning saves companies 10 to 40 percent on transportation costs, while improving service and control.
“We are proud of the progress Velant is making, and we are fortunate to have two world-class investors supporting our growth,” Don Ratliff, president and chief executive officer of Velant, said in a statement. “3i’s deep resources and experience in both international and domestic markets make them a strong addition to our team. As we continue to build out Velant’s operations to serve our expanding roster of clients, both 3i and Matrix will be terrific partners for us.”
Truck transportation accounts for half of the $1 trillion in annual U.S. logistics costs and comprises over 80 percent of the nation’s freight bill, according to Cass Information Systems and ProLogis. Velant says it addresses this $500 billion market by delivering cost savings and efficiency improvements to companies that operate their own private or commercial truck fleets and to shippers that utilize commercial carriers to transport their freight.
“We believe Velant’s superior optimization technology coupled with their experience in the logistics market is positioning the company as a true leader in the transportation planning space,” Marko Maschek, partner at 3i and a new member of Velant’s Board of Directors, said in a statement. “Velant’s team of logistics experts, led by Dr. Ratliff, has decades of experience successfully developing and delivering cutting-edge logistics solutions. The company’s story is resonating very well in the market, and we are impressed with Velant’s traction with clients in numerous vertical industries.”