The ‘TECHquila Sunrise’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions in Supply Chain Tech every week. If you are looking for a podcast about ‘so-and-so signed a contract with such and such,’ or ‘they just released version 20 of that same technology you didn’t buy last year,’ this is the wrong podcast for you. But if you are looking for real news and innovation, welcome to the Sunrise.


In this episode of ‘TECHquila Sunrise,’ Supply Chain Now Host Greg White discusses recent articles on the following topics:

  • The top 25 startup ecosystems, and how the sources of funding are starting to become more widespread globally
  • Notable supply chain deals for the week, including GroupSolver and Aptean
  • The first cut of the publicly traded supply chain companies that will comprise Greg’s Supply Chain Tech Stock index

Greg White (00:00):

Hey, in this episode of tequila, sunrise, we’ll talk about the top 25 startup ecosystems for 2020 soft banks. $100 million bet on inclusive investing. Larry’s big Oracle sale and more supply chain tech deals to know about join us and

Greg White (00:19):

Listen up. [inaudible]

Greg White (00:35):

It’s time to wake up to tequila sunrise, where we open your eyes to the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions focused on supply chain tech every week at this unholy hour of the day. And also unfortunately, without the aid of tequila or even coffee or intoxicants of any kind. If you want to know who’s winning who’s waning, who’s whining and who to track in supply chain tech, join us every Wednesday for another blinding tequila sunrise,

Greg White (01:16):


Greg White (01:17):

Supply chain. Now here, I’m 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. Here’s my pilot disclaimer, we are piloting this series, so I welcome any and all comments, questions, arguments, reputations, even see stories. And if you like this series say so, and don’t forget to subscribe at supply chain now, or wherever you get your podcasts. It only survives if you listen and Hey, don’t worry. We won’t be spending time on silly PR schemes. Like so-and-so signed a contract with such and such, or just released version 20 of that same tech you didn’t buy last year. This’ll be real news about real innovation and I’ll include the link to any articles that I referenced in the show notes and accompanying blog on supply chain.

Greg White (02:12):

Now Hey, the theme of the party this week is a new hope. Let’s start by clarifying for some folks who offered feedback on last week’s episode. What do I mean by supply chain tech? That’s a great question. Look in tequila, sunrise supply chain tech will address any technology that be software cloud, virtual, robotic, or automation that impacts any process or operation in supply chain. So this really runs the gamut from designing modeling, building, moving, tracking, tracing, visualizing, analyzing, and optimizing, even selling, and also includes the circular re solutions reuse, repurpose recycle, and like we’re going to cross some borders of what is traditionally been known as supply chain, because I believe that supply chain includes the conceptualization of products all the way to the consumer. So we’ll include e-commerce and consumer enablement tech. You’ll hear me say it a lot. So why not here?

Greg White (03:21):

The supply chain begins and ends with the customer. I firmly believe that supply chains will be more effective when we consider consumers part of the supply chain. So let’s get to this week’s interesting insights here we are the week of June 29th, 2020, and rolling right into the second half of this crazy year. Amazing. This first discussion is for you. If you have a tech startup are considering founding one, you’re an investor, or just a curious observer startup genome has some interesting information for you. This is an organization that since 2012 have been tracking the growth of startup ecosystems around the globe, and they just published the global startup ecosystem report for 2020 with some pretty interesting findings. As usual, they ranked the top 25 ecosystems and ties. So this year 30 using several metrics, including performance funding, connectedness, talent, and knowledge. So they evaluate communities around the world to determine what are the best ecosystems for startups to survive and thrive.

Greg White (04:36):

The top five ecosystems are household names. You can probably guess which is number one, but have shifted positions a bit with Silicon Valley still coming in at number one, New York tied at number two with London, which has come up from number eight in 2012, Beijing at number four and Boston five. The playing field is becoming a lot more level with funding raised in more regions around the world and distribution of funding becoming more widespread globally. One notable observation from the report is encouraging regarding spreading the wealth. There will be no next Silicon Valley. And that’s a quote. There will be 30, of course, the 30 refers to the total number of cities that made it on the top ecosystem ranking list. This year, there were 11 new communities to enter the top 25 list with several entering within the top 10 or 15, some big movers with Atlanta moving up five spots, Washington DC, up eight spots, and several others moving around list.

Greg White (05:45):

Another indicator of equalization in the report is the U S markets move from 66% of global venture funding in 2013 to only 46% in 2019 more specifically, Silicon Valley move from 12% to 7% of overall venture capital funding over that same seven year period, to give you some perspective. The UK by contrast grew from 4% to 6% of global venture funding. Additionally, the number of ecosystems launching unicorns, meaning $1 billion exits or private technology companies with over a billion dollars in valuation has increased from only four ecosystems in 2013 to an amazing 80 ecosystems that have done. So to date, the good news being that wherever you are, there is a nearby startup ecosystem that gives you a great shot at success. Look, the report raises the concern that emerging ecosystems might be more vulnerable to the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn than the developed ecosystems.

Greg White (06:54):

The interesting question, I think this begs is for those in Silicon Valley, whether remote work shifts, which are expected also because of the change in economy, if that balance is further to the next 30 on the list, I believe that the combination of intentional broadly dispersed funds from investors in the Valley and elsewhere, along with the specialization in certain ecosystems like cybersecurity supply chain and FinTech here in Atlanta or other communities that have specialties along with the dynamics of remote or mobile work, whether that be by choice or by necessity, and other factors will continue to boost top ecosystems for some years to come. I’ve put the download link in the show notes so you can download the report from startup genome, yourself, read on and start up. So here’s an interesting story. We teased Larry Ellison sell some Oracle shares for the first time. Since 2010, he exercised 2.8 million stock options set to expire on July one for 60 point $3 million and sold them immediately for 154 point $6 million pocketing, roughly $94 million for Ellison.

Greg White (08:12):

The world’s seventh wealthiest person whose net worth is approximately $67 billion. Truly. There’s not much to see here, but the amount is notable along with the fact that he hasn’t sold since 2010, which even then was a transaction over which Ellison had no control as it was automated. If only we all had such troubles, right? But the truth is he is fully committed, still holds a significant chunk of Oracle stock is still chairman and fairly active in the company. It is notable that Oracle stock a member of our soon to be released. Supply chain tech stock index has gained 2.9% this year, not stellar treading water, mostly, but the S and P 500 index against which it’s often rated has dropped 4% in the same time period. As of this episode, Hey, I want to continue the discussion on inclusive investing. We started last week when we talked about collab, capital Kibera, and a number of other firms who are intentionally focusing on inclusive investing this week, I’m surfacing the move big move that SoftBank made in just 24 hours in order to do their part.

Greg White (09:24):

This wide eyed investment from behind, we were door dash Slack and supply chain unicorn Flexport put together a $100 million investment funds in June, even though SoftBank’s $100 billion vision fund. Number one has lost $18 billion, largely due to collapsing, valuations of Uber. And we work CEO, Masayoshi son responded to a request by COO Marcello, cloudy who saw the opportunity to lead big investors, to get serious about inclusive investing, to quote cloudy. We spoke to Masa son about the privilege that we see at SoftBank being one of the largest tech investors in the world. And we needed to do something big about it. The whole thing is to do something about it. I see a lot of people have good intentions, but I think each one of us needs to contribute to make change in America. That from Clouder looks SoftBank has seeded the fund with a hundred million dollars of their own capital.

Greg White (10:23):

And the company will not take a traditional management fee. Instead they’ll reinvest half of its gains into subsequent growth opportunity funds, and also donate a portion of its gains to organizations that create opportunities for people of color say what you will about their investing strategy. But this is a big move by the world’s most prominent investor who really is suffering their own sort of crisis with their vision fund two, as it’s coming in at less than half the size of fund one, likely due to major investors holding back because of the poor performance of SoftBank’s inaugural fund, making a commitment of this size in a time of company and world crisis makes a bold statement and will hopefully kickstart other investment firms efforts to be inclusive for those firms that are looking for a model to start with. I’ve also included a tech crunch article in the show notes and article and accompany we’ll be digging into in the next episode, BLC cave, VC co founder, Sydney, Sykes, and she talks about the specific actions that firms can take to be more inclusive.

Greg White (11:30):

We’ll dig in deep in the next episode, but I want to get that article out there. If anyone out there wants to get started with their own initiative for their fund. Also keep an eye out for more information on inclusive investing initiatives in future episodes and be on the lookout soon for my tracker on inclusive fundings. Hey, on that note, let’s talk about some of the notable deals getting this week. First, let’s start with the deal ticker. So each week I want to share that even in this unstable business environment deals are getting done this week 245 funding rounds yielded 29 point $3 billion in investment and 89 acquisitions for 10 point $2 billion. That’s up significantly from last week when we saw 205 funding rounds for 26 point 1,000,000,067 acquisitions for only 4.1, did I say only look, that is all deals, not only supply chain deals, but supply chain deals totaled approximately a hundred million dollars.

Greg White (12:31):

So let’s move to the notable supply chain deals for this week. So group solver, a San Diego, California based customer insights, startup raises 2 million in its third funding round led by Harris capital with tech coast angels and others contributing. Hey, one of the feedbacks I got was who are these people, these companies, these investors, who are they? So the point of naming the companies, their markets and their investors is if you might be in a business that is like or competitive with some of these companies, these might be investors you want to reach out to. So just trying to surface some of the companies that are investing in this environment, deals are being made around the world. [inaudible] an unfortunate name, but Vilnius Lithuania based last mile delivery service raised 2.2 million euros in seed funding, seven bridges in London, a UK based AI powered optimization engine for businesses to scale and automate logistics and supply chain raise 3.4 million pounds in seed funding.

Greg White (13:40):

And here come the big ones Aptean and Alpharetta, Georgia based provider of ERP and supply chain solutions received a strategic growth investment from funds affiliated with Charlesbank capital partners then promptly, literally the next day, but discrete manufacturing ERP work-wise the value of both transactions is undisclosed Aptean is a classic aggregator of technology and have made approximately 22 acquisitions over the last few years. This one’s interesting to me at least scale fast closes a $22 million series B to boost e-commerce pathways for high growth brands to launch a direct to consumer D to C e-store in as little as 15 days, scale fast has attracted customers like L’Oreal FLIR and square Ebonics and saw a 200% growth year over year. And as it turns out, the COVID pandemic also brought in a number of inbound inquiries from brands that needed to establish an eCommerce channel. When retail stores were closed, interested to see how this company continues to grow, and frankly, how they differentiate from other eCommerce solutions like Shopify and van Calum and others that can enable global commerce relatively quickly.

Greg White (14:57):

So we’ll keep an eye on these folks and I’ll let you know how they’re doing. Hey, I want to deliver on my commitments. And last week I promised progress on a supply chain tech stock index. So we can track the performance of supply chain in the stock market. Look, this is by no means complete, but I’ve made my first cut at public companies who will comprise the index. And I’m determining the weighting methodology to use. I’m leaning towards a market capitalization where companies with the largest market capitalization, meaning their share price times. The total number of shares will impact the index more heavily. For instance, Oracle, one of the members because of their massive market capitalization would impact the index more heavily than say Kanaxis or park city group or others. So this will allow us to see the biggest influencers having the biggest impact on the index itself.

Greg White (15:53):

I’m going to share the proposed companies in the show notes and take a look on supply chain now, at those companies. And let me know what you think I’d love to get your thoughts on the stocks selected for the index. Give me additions or deletions. I’m sure I’ve missed somebody prominent and any thoughts you have on the weighting index. If you happen to be an investment pro I’m using a pretty basic fundamental to create the index. All right, that is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Hey, I appreciate the feedback that I’ve already gotten, and I’d love to hear more. So I’ve tried to employ some of it here. So give me your feedback and let me know how to tune this show. As we roll out of here, don’t forget to get to supply chain now, for supply chain. Now series interviews and events. Hey, if you want to hear me talk a lot less, join me Mondays for supply chain buzz with Scott Luton, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch. We stream live the news that you need to know for supply chain for the week at noon Eastern. Also keep an eye out for two more new pilot series, adapt and thrive with Jaman Alvarez on transportation and tech. Talk with the great Karin bursa and me for deep dive on supply chain tech. What makes it

Greg White (17:21):


Greg White (17:23):

Hey, if you’re listening and you haven’t subscribed, would you commit already? Please keep me alive. Subscribe to tequila, sunrise, and supply chain. Now wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for spending time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.

Greg White serves as Principle & 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: 

Upcoming Events & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Subscribe to Supply Chain Now:
Connect with Greg on LinkedIn:
Startup Genome:
Larry Ellison:
Softbank’s $100M Fund for Minority Owned Businesses:
Actions Firms Can Take to be More Inclusive:
SCN Ranked #1 Supply Chain Podcat via FeedSpot:
SCNR on YouTube:
2020 AIAG Supply Chain Summit:
Register for the Virtual Supply Chain Summit with Alcott Global:
Stand Up & Sound Off: A Conversation About Race in Industry Webinar:

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