Volvo Group Venture Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of the iconic Gothenburg car, truck and infrastructure equipment giant, has been on an investment roll in recent days. On Wednesday, the company announced its participation in a $100 million Series D funding round for digital supply chain transparency platform FourKites, joining Boston private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and Zebra Ventures for the late-stage venture round.
The FourKites platform provides visibility on over 1 million global daily shipments across 176 countries, working with over 450,000 carriers and tracking 99 percent of the world’s ocean traffic. The firm has registered 120 percent year-on-year growth.
“We think that supply chain visibility will become an industry standard and believe that customers will expect it in new supply chain solutions,” Volvo Group Venture Capital investment director Dan Tram said upon announcing the round, adding that Volvo sees FourKites as a “valuable partner” in its discussions regarding new services because of their real-time visibility capabilities.
“We are thrilled to partner with Volvo Group Venture Capital in this latest funding round. This will help to accelerate our growth and enable us to bring new innovative solutions to market,” said Mathew Elenjickal, founder and CEO of FourKites.
This is the second major investment that Volvo Group Venture Capital has announced in recent days, further to its thematic focus on logistics services, site solutions and electrical infrastructure companies in Europe and North America. Last week, the fund announced an investment in Israeli EV software charging company Driivz Ltd., whose scalable, modular platform for electric vehicle charging networks is used by operators of charging points and EV fleets.
Driivz has a large (and growing) number of customers in the utility, oil and gas, and automotive industries, as well as among changing network operators. Earlier this month, Driivz announced the signing of a long-term agreement with EVgo, the largest public fast-charging network in the United States.
“There is a significant and growing interest in electric vehicles and machines among Volvo Group customers, which is speeding up the transition to more sustainable transport,” said Volvo Group Venture Capital Investment Director Erik Johansson, adding that the Driivz deal will play an important role in the corporate parent’s efforts to help customers to electrify their transportation solutions.
An ongoing pilot project between Volvo Trucks, the Volvo Group and Driivz has been launched with the aim of developing and testing new and innovative charging services to meet the specific needs of electric truck customers and drivers.
Earlier this week, Volvo Group subsidiary Renault Trucks committed to electrifying its entire fleet, becoming carbon-neutral within 30 years. Volvo Group noted that given the useful lifespan of at least ten years for its trucks, all trucks manufactured by 2040 will have to run without fossil fuels in order to meet this goal. This means that battery-electric and fuel cell electric power will be crucial in achieving this carbon-free target.
Renault Trucks began series production of its second generation of electric vehicles at the Blainville-sur-Orne plant in March of last year, and is now seeking to extend vehicle electrification to all uses. Preparations are underway to market a Z.E. tractor to meet the needs of regional and inter-regional transport from 2023. An all-electric offer designed for urban construction will also be available to order by this date.