As supply chain issues continue to wreak havoc for businesses both large and small, Chain.io Founder and CEO Brian Glick hopes to alleviate the problems with the company's cloud-based integration platform, which lets all the different entities in the chain share data between all their systems.
“Our team created Chain.io because we saw how much the friction in the global supply chain was costing businesses and how it was impeding innovation,” Glick says. “The past few years have only reinforced the need to work more efficiently and effectively with trading partners and data providers to improve product flow and reduce operating costs.”
Chain.io completed an $11 million Series A round in June. The round was co-led by Fontinalis Partners and High Alpha, with participation from Mercury, Grand Ventures, Eve Atlas and Waybury Capital. The financing will allow Chain.io to expand its network of native integrations to its supply chain technology platforms.
“I’m excited that we’ll be able to apply this new funding toward solving the supply chain bottlenecks that are impacting the entire global economy,” Glick says.
Chain.io will use the investment to add more native connectivity to transportation and supply chain platforms, as well as geographic expansion across North America, Europe and Asia.
Raising the capital was not an easy task, as many investors were scared off through the seed round and Series A because they weren’t aligned with Chain.io’s long-term vision.
“Alignment is extremely important and one of the reasons it's especially important for us is part of our network’s value is that it's neutral,” Glick says. “We work with lots of software companies who are on our network — who are competing with each other — and we have to be very careful not to compete with them to stay a neutral platform. If you have investors who don't understand that vision from the first day, it can be very easy to chase shiny objects that would break that neutrality. That would destroy the value of our network.”
Glick had no experience in the investment space prior to 2020, but jumped in head first in the beginning of 2020.
“We met with some funds and we were kind of going through the process of making all the mistakes,” Glick says. “And we felt like we were just about at the finish line and then the lockdowns happen and a few of the funds that were talking about said to us, ‘We don't know how to buy your shares from you in this environment,' and they really locked up and we lost a lot of momentum.”
COVID added a year to the fundraising process, Glick says, but there was a silver lining.
“We got really good at storytelling,” Glick says.
It also broadened the investment pool, as investors began to move their due diligence online and expand their reach.
"I don't think, absent COVID, we would have even become exposed to those companies. And it actually turned out very well,” Glick says.
Glick spoke on the Smart Business Podcast about his seed and Series A cap raises and how COVID helped them hone their pitch. Hit play to catch the full conversation.