There has been an accelerated movement towards digital transformation across nearly every industry as a result of the pandemic and logistics is no different. Tive is a full-stack supply-chain solution that allows customers to track not only the location of a shipment but also its condition. This visibility allows shippers to maintain efficient supply chains and the company’s software and hardware solutions integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure. The company’s revenue has grown 570% in 2020 alone, servicing companies in the food, electronics, consumer goods, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries. In fact, the company is working with cold-storage solution providers to test the technology for transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Boston TechWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Krenar Komoni to learn more about how Tive was conceived in a Worcester basement, the company’s impressive traction, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $16.9M for the company founded in 2015, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We’re excited to announce that we raised $12 million in a Series A funding round backed by RRE Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures, with further investment from our current investors NextView Ventures, Hyperplane Ventures, One Way Ventures, Fathom Ventures, Sage Hill Capital, and others.
The new investment will fuel our rapid growth and drive new products and innovation for seamless shipment tracking, alerts, visibility, and analytics.
Tive helps companies eliminate surprises in their supply chain by providing real-time visibility into shipments throughout the transportation process, offering location data and condition insights.
Traditionally, shipment tracking has been incredibly complicated, unreliable, and expensive. However, we offer a solution that cuts through the noise with easy-to-use shipment trackers; intuitive software that provides actionable insights such as temperature, shock, light exposure, and humidity; and a 24/7 support team that helps to proactively solve problems and optimize the distribution of goods.
What inspired the start of Tive?
It all started with my wife’s dad, who owns a trucking company in Worcester, MA. Just by hanging out with him, I learned a lot about the trucking business – including an ongoing challenge he faced. My father-in-law was spending an enormous amount of time worrying about where his drivers were and whether his trucks would make it to the dock on-time. So in 2015, I set out to create a solution. And that solution became Tive.
What started in a Worcester basement (sometimes you don’t have enough room in the garage!) has now grown into a global team dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art tracking solutions for customers in search of simplicity in a complex supply chain.
How is Tive different?
Tive is different because of our customer-centric approach. Our team truly understands how important it is to take great care of our customers and what matters most to them – their shipments. We do this by providing a proactive monitoring and visibility solution that is SaaS-based or integrates with customers’ Transportation Management Solutions (TMS) and provides actionable insights, so they can seamlessly manage their loads. With Tive, our customers solve problems before they occur, allowing them to deliver a superior customer experience.
At Tive, we’re always innovating. We released the industry’s first 5G-ready single-use tracker at the beginning of 2020, which has been a great product-market fit. And we also delivered the first-ever Non-Lithium powered tracker to address safety and environmental concerns.
What market does Tive target and how big is it?
Tive serves customers across the $20 trillion shipping industry, ranging from consumer-packaged goods, logistics, produce, and retail. Our customers include the largest shippers of food, electronics, consumer goods, automotive, and pharmaceuticals.
What’s your business model?
Tive is a platform, which is a combination of Tive trackers (hardware) and software, in a direct sales model and channel model.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
The pandemic hugely accelerated digitization around supply chain logistics. And quickly, our customers realized that in order to digitize their overall logistics, they needed complete visibility into their shipments. So as customers began to search for solutions, our phones started to ring. Customers came to us looking for easy-to-use tracking solutions. That surge in digitization allowed us to grow 570% in annual revenue.
There’s also been increased attention on cold chain logistics as the Covid-19 vaccine temperature requirements created a massive logistical challenge for shipping. Our technology will play a role in this critical quality control; multiple global logistics companies engaged in cold chain distribution are currently testing our devices.
What was the funding process like?
The funding process was mostly virtual given the current environment. We started the process in mid-September, and with the growth we experienced in Q3 it turned out to be the right time to bring in new funding.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Unlike many newer companies, our deep relationships throughout the shipping and logistics industry created a lot of buzz due to the customer success we were able to create. That buzz is what insightful investors are looking for. Additionally, we strive to work with the right partners that not only provide capital but also talent density and expertise. That’s the mix we were after and feel we have achieved.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The reason our company makes sense for investors, and also why customers are so happy with Tive, is because we provide a full-stack solution – the hardware, the software, the platform, and the API integration. Customers are looking for a one-player solution that integrates with their systems and we provide that.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We plan to release a new product that will measure cold temperatures that exceed today’s current market limitations, as well as grow our international presence and add key leadership and talent to the Tive team.
What advice can you offer companies in Boston that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Stay focused on your users, who have the power to purchase and choose their own technology solutions. Look for opportunities to provide additional value to customers while creating additional revenue streams for your company. And build a diverse, dedicated team, pulling in the best talent from around the globe.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
As demands and expectations of the shipping industry continue to rise, so will the need for real-time shipment visibility solutions. Our team will remain committed to enabling shippers and 3PLs to optimize their global supply chains and improve the customer experience. With the new funding, we will be able to accelerate the distribution of our data-driven platform and develop the next generation of shipment trackers.
What is your favorite restaurant in Boston?
I am partial to The Palm — always a great meal and exceptional service!