Supply Chain Now Episode 490

“I’m a firm believer that the ones who take the risks deserve the rewards. If you want big rewards, you have to take big risks.”

-Greg White, Host, TECHquila Sunrise


This week at TECHquila Sunrise we take a sip and have a look back at our favorite guests since August. I’ll tell you what I’ve learned from these technology founders, investors & visionaries and share what you can take away too. And as a throwback we talk about funding for supply chain tech, and some cool companies taking their shot at their own – TECHquila Sunrise – so Listen UP!

Greg White (00:00):

This week on tequila, sunrise, we take a sip and have a look back at our favorite guests. Since August. I’ll tell you what I’ve learned from these technology, founders, investors, and visionaries, and share what you can take away too. And as a throwback, we talk about funding for supply chain tech and some cool companies taken their shot at their own tequila sunrise. So listen up, it’s time to wake up to tequila, sunrise, where without the aid of tequila, unfortunately, we open your eyes to how tech founders and venture investing ticks focused on supply chain tech every week at this unholy hour of the day. So if you want to know how tech startup growth and investment is done, join me every single week for another blinding tequila, sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey, subscribe to tequila, sunrise on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or anywhere else, you get your podcasts. So you don’t miss a thing.

Greg White (01:36):

All right, this week, it’s just you and me. Let’s reflect on our recent discussions with founders and investors are so much we can take away. And I’ll share with you my thoughts on what we can learn from the people we’ve talked to since August. Yeah, August 1st, let’s see what’s going on in supply chain tech this week. We haven’t done this for a while, but Hey look, while small deals are way, way down from last year, it seems like things are heating up. At least behind the scenes. And a lot of VCs are looking for companies that are worthy of investment. I know of several companies in the process of a raise right now. Look, companies with big growth are getting big multiples and bargain. Hunting still continues for those with less than astronomical growth. Overall 288 funding rounds brought in $7.3 billion and 140 acquisitions for $62.2 billion.

Greg White (02:39):

One of those acquisitions makes up 35 billion AMD bought Xilinx as for supply chain tech deals. If you wonder if this space is ripe, you might not think so after I tell you this 11 funding rounds for just $45 million in two acquisitions for undisclosed amounts, I don’t know the specifics of those acquisitions, but undisclosed often means an unimpressive amount of money considering the company stage. So there’s a free lesson for you. Hey, though, not much has happened in the numbers. There have been so many supply chain funding deals this week and in the weeks, since we’ve talked about venture deals that I’m going to share a few with you. I’m just barely scratching the surface. There are hundreds more out there waiting to be completed. Believe me, supply chain tech is in play fair is now valued at $2.5 billion following a $170 million series E fair F a I R E is an online wholesale marketplace connecting more than a hundred thousand local retailers and 10,000 brands.

Greg White (03:53):

The investment raises the company’s valuation to 2.5 billion more than double the valuation from their round. That was announced in October of 2019 golden, Colorado based outrider has landed 65 million in series B funding. This company makes distribution yards much more efficient. The issues that it deals with include congestion of trucks, lost trailers and the right trailer, not getting to the right loading dock at the correct time. Has anyone ever had that happen? Hey, Koch disruptive technologies led the round along with participation from existing investors, including eight VC who led the $53 million series a prior here’s one from around the world, fresh to home raised a $121 million series C round in what the company is saying is the largest ever series C funding in India. Consumer technology. What fresh to home does is handles the situation in India where most of the meat sold is fresh versus frozen and managed in unhygienic conditions.

Greg White (05:06):

The company’s fresh fish and meat e-commerce marketplace aims to eliminate middlemen by enabling its sellers to source and sell high quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen. The round was led by the investment corporation of Dubai investment arm of the government of Dubai, several other investors and the previous investors. So here’s the lesson funding is plentiful. In fact, between three funds, Thoma Bravo, Salesforce and NTT. Over $23 billion in new funding has come to market in just the past week. Small deals are getting done too, for those of you who are early or seed stage companies. So buck up obsess a new York-based experimental e-commerce platform that enables to create interactive shoppable online virtual stores and showrooms closed at 3.4 million seed funding round. And where w are a San Francisco, California based technology, startup deploying autonomous drones for warehouse inventory, counting closed a 2.5 million seed funding round.

Greg White (06:17):

So there is money out there for everybody, but I’m telling you, you better be stellar right now. So let’s move on to this discussion of our discussions. Since the end of August, we’ve done interviews with founders and investors. So I thought I’d reflect on what I’ve taken away from those discussions. You can listen up for yourself and share your thoughts, which I would love to hear so far. I’ve talked life and leader’s journey with Colton Griffin CEO flourish about their path in the cannabis industry. Ben Gordon, CEO of Cambridge capital rockstar investor in supply chain who shares in his story and early ass kicking that he received and shows what a truly founder friendly investor actually looks like. We talked to Sarah Barnes, Humphrey, CEO of ships, who talks about her career in logistics, media, and her journey as a female founder in a male dominated industry, just in the last couple of weeks, Jason Perez, CEO of yards shared his family’s escape from tyranny in Cuba, their intentional leadership and his hopeful spirit that I guarantee you will make you feel better about the world.

Greg White (07:32):

Also Kevin L. Jackson, CEO of GC global net. He, well, I can’t tell you that because we haven’t released it yet. So you better listen up. So what traits have made these founders great in listening to their stories, in hearing their journeys in talking to them before, during and after the interview, I can tell you that there are a few things that I’ve seen. Some of these I’ve taken down and some of these I’ve just observed, but let me tell you, these are special people. First of all, they are fearless risk takers. And this is the greatest value that a founder investor or entrepreneur offers sure, as was famously said, you didn’t build that alone, but it takes guts to start something. I’m a firm believer that the ones who take the risks deserve the rewards. If you want big rewards, you have to take big risks.

Greg White (08:30):

And every one of these folks that we’ve talked to take big risks, another trait that they have, which really is necessary for you to be at risk-taker is they are undyingly optimistic, but not to the extent of irrational exuberance. So we’ll talk about that a little bit later, these leaders are obsessed. People often talk about what they’re passionate about. If you watch shark tank or even talk to other people with businesses, they say this was my passion in tech. Passion is not sufficient. It takes obsession and compulsion even to see the vision through and the willingness to put many, many important things aside, including work-life balance, to see that vision through you really have to be driven to accomplish what you’re after and what you’re after in my experience with these great leaders is to deliver something meaningful to the marketplace. These folks are inspiring.

Greg White (09:28):

I mean, let’s face it. They’re getting people to risk their livelihood when there is nothing but a vision, they had to convince a co-founder because nobody can do this alone to join them. When there was nothing, not even so much as a spreadsheet, often an ID on the back of a napkin. And I can vouch for that personally. Thanks Bobby, by the way, they are wise enough to get advice. And yet humble enough to judiciously, evaluate it for implementation. You have to recognize that not only can you not do it alone, you don’t know it all alone. You need guidance. You need somebody with an external perspective. You need someone who’s not buried in the business every single day. Somebody who has been there, somebody who has seen that, got the t-shirt done that. All of those things, someone who can keep you in moments in minutes from going down a path that can waste months or weeks or millions.

Greg White (10:26):

And that is just so valuable to recognize that that advice is necessary. And to surround yourself with trusted, experienced advisors, these people are introspective, not one of them. When I’ve asked them the question, what do you wish you had done or known earlier? Or what would you like to share with our community that could help them? Not one of them has hesitated at all. They know exactly what they would do differently. They know exactly how they would change things. They know exactly frankly, what their strengths and weaknesses are. There many too humble to mention their strengths, but they become obvious every single one, keenly aware of their weaknesses. And yet they don’t have self doubt. They’re assured of themselves. I think because they are so introspective, they feel like they are constantly eliminating those weaknesses. And again are not too high on their strengths. So many of them have used what many would call a dysfunction as a catalyst for their success?

Greg White (11:31):

You know, that’s a question I love to ask, what trait or capability or affinity or awareness or habit do you have that many might call a dysfunction that you use to your benefit? And while many of them are taken aback by that they all in their own way, embrace that and recognize that they have turned something that could be negatively by others into something that helps them be successful. And this is far from the last trait, but we only have so much time. And that is, they are always thankful, always thankful for where they are, but never satisfied with where they are critical to be appreciative of where you stand of what you’ve accomplished of, who you’re with of the strengths and accomplishments that they have as well. But it’s equally as important to always be seeking improvement. They are always trying to learn from both failure and success.

Greg White (12:30):

Why, how better, how much more those sorts of things that continue to raise the bar for them, their people, their company, their investors, their customers, and the marketplace in general. Really, these are people who have struggled at times. Every single one of them has come through some sort of difficulty in their lives, and yet they have overcome it and they are so insightful all about it. And they have taken away what they’ve learned. And they have most importantly moved ahead from anything that could have crushed them. And some of them have had some really tough experiences. And yet here they are. So it is quite impressive what these people have accomplished. Look at there’s anything that the rest of us can take away from this. It is no matter what you face, you face it, you face it down, you defeat it. Hopefully, maybe it defeats you temporarily, but never, ever permanently.

Greg White (13:33):

And to quote the great Jim Valvano, don’t give up, don’t ever give up. And there is not an ounce of give up in any one of these people. And in fact, Jason, in his episode mentioned that, you know, if you are going to let one or three or five failures defeat you, then maybe entrepreneurship, maybe tech founder is not the role for you. In any case, whether you are a founder or you are working with a founder, you hope someday to be a founder, or you just like listening to founders. All of these things are lessons that you can use in any part of your life, no matter what your life is about. Every one of these things be applied to your life to help you be more successful. And that’s what I think is so cool about these discussions. And I have to tell you, I leave energized from every single one.

Greg White (14:24):

You can probably tell, I have this childlike fascination with, with people’s journeys, with their lives, with their accomplishments, with their failures, their philosophies, and how they progress through life. So, so it’s a real joy for me to get to work with these folks, to bring them to you and to hopefully help you take something away from it. I have spoken to some really great people about cool companies and I really, really enjoy it just quick. Let me give you a preview of some people and companies that I have my eyes on that you’ll be hearing from shortly Paul Noble CEO at Verisign. This company is making waves. They’re going to grow nearly 10 X this year, go through a funding round and come out on the other side of COVID much bigger, much more powerful than they were even going into it. Cipher, uh, CEO, uh, Ross phasey, this isn’t even really a supply chain tech company, but because cyber is so important.

Greg White (15:23):

And because this company has built one of the coolest technologies I’ve seen, we have to hear from them plus yet another story of someone who has come from a difficult situation to America and made their go. And of course I wouldn’t let you go on without more discussions about weed. Yeah. We’re going to talk to Sarah and Phil at growth Sayer. I have to say it again. That is a super cool name. And what they are doing is they have simplified advanced forecasting and planning and replenishment in the cannabis industry and they are using AI to improve the forecasting. It’s great that this app is so smart that it makes decisions for you because if you’re stoned out of your mind or just busy as hell, making your customers happy, it makes that job so easy. Rhythmic. This is a Canadian bunch of mining geeks doing really cool stuff.

Greg White (16:17):

Their CEO, Amanda, true Scott is making connections with big equipment companies, driving the vision and marketing. And there’s a tremendous team dynamic with her and Chris and Kevin who are the deep, deep mining geeks. There are a whole lot more that I would love to dig into, but I only have time for a mentioned right now, automation, intelligence, Richard trade, and the team they’re shelf aware Andrew Johnson. I’m sure there are a few more and I’ll get some WTF messages. We’ll have to get to them another time because I’m out of time. All right. That is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Don’t forget to get to supply chain for more supply chain now, series interviews and events. And now we have two live streams per week. The most popular live show in supply chain. Supply chain buzz is every single Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton and me, or maybe even somebody else. Plus our Thursday live stream to be named later where we will bring you whatever the hell we want. Hey, thanks for spending your valuable time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Greg introduces you to TECHquila Sunrise through our YouTube channel.

Greg White serves as Principal & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:

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