Marseille-based shipping container sensor and software maker Traxens has netted $22.7 million in venture capital funding to help it fulfill orders from three of the world’s largest container lines.
Funding was provided by Itochu Corp., Bpifrance, and Supernova Invest, the Crédit Agricole Innovations et Territoires Fund.
The funding “will enable us to deploy our solution at a significant scale in the coming years,” Traxens general manager Jacques Delort said in a statement. “The financing will help us to reach critical mass quickly as a data producer in a booming market. We will increase the visibility of the company in existing and new markets as well as that of our solution.”
Delort is the former chief technology officer for CMA CGM and Crédit Agricole.
Traxens said it expects to have 100,000 containers, both dry and reefer, equipped with its solution by the end of 2020. The company in May received an order from Maersk for 50,000 of the devices, with CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co. having already committed to the same number of devices. CMA and MSC were early investors in Traxens.
The devices are meant to provide more reliable data about the location and condition of containers while in transit, and an associated analytics platform is designed to help shippers better understand where and when their goods hit bottlenecks, both episodic and systemic. For carriers, the sensors are intended to aid in service transparency and asset utilization.
The investment by the three shipping lines in Traxens’ product is a test case of sorts for whether the market needs such a high level of visibility, and whether carriers can recapture investment in hardware through premium services.
Traxens said it already has major beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) as customers, including the global chemical manufacturer BASF, and partners with major shipping lines to provide bespoke tracking data for containers.
Traxens is far from the only provider of tracking devices, whether at the container level or more granular levels. Other providers include Savi, Arviem, and Contguard and newer entrants such as SensorTransport, Loginno, and Eye-Seal. Some provide hardware and analytics, while others are sensor-agnostic software platforms.