Scania Growth Capital is announcing its "first major" move from its €200 million second hybrid VC vehicle announced in November.
The VC fund is investing SEK 50 million ($4.8 million) in SiB Solutions, a Sweden-HQed startup whose logistics platform enables supply chains to leverage AI and intelligent video to keep supply chains running more smoothly.
Scania's new fund is managed by a third-party company, East Hill Equity, whose partner Daniel Riazzoli spotted the SiB Solutions' team's potential around one year ago. The equity investment was significant enough to make the Scania VC SiB's largest minority shareholder.
"They immediately got our attention, leading to this investment," Riazzoli says, "Reducing failures in the logistics chain is a key enabler for more efficient and sustainable transport solutions; picking, packing and loading represents the majority of errors in a typical logistic chain."
With its intelligent video and AI-driven platform, SiB Solutions aims to let logistics centres like warehouses and fulfilment centres capture rolling video feeds of product lines that zoom in to automatically flag up faulty individual goods.
The software incorporates search functions to directly cross-check red flags against the order id and provides visibility into how the order was handled.
The use of video in warehouses and factories has been touted as a potential upgrade to first gen industrial internet-of-things networks, which mainly relied on thermometers to extract temperature data and other basic sensors.
At this stage SiB Solutions appears to have a decent first mover advantage, at least in European markets. A quick patrol of the competition reveals there's Poland's Sternkraft, which promises "intelligent video analysis streams" for IoT-driven transit freights, as well as Stuttgart-HQed Tsenso, which has hyperspectral cameras that power intelligent quality control in agriculture. There's also a handful of players in this area from the US, like Tennessee-HQed DARVIS which provides broad-application computer vision in object recognition.
SiB Solutions secured SEK 23 million ($2.8 million) in its only previous funding round two years ago, raised from Swedish backers led by Anders Pettersson, according to Nordic 9. The company CEO Stefan Borg says it has won market traction in the USA, UK and the Netherlands, since being founded five years ago.
"Despite the current global financial situation, we have shown continued success by establishing our business in the USA, UK and the Netherlands," Borg says, "This investment makes it possible for us to accelerate our global expansion and continue changing the world of logistics through ground breaking technology.”