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Project44 reaches $2.7B valuation with new funding

Visibility provider will use funds to enhance systems to measure supply chain emissions

Chicago-based project44 operates an end-to-end visibility platform that tracks more than 1 billion shipments annually for over 1,200 companies. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Supply chain visibility provider project44 announced Thursday it has secured $80 million in a funding round led by Generation Investment Management and A.P. Moller Holding.

The latest round increases project44’s valuation to $2.7 billion, up 12% from its last funding round in January. The company said the additional funding will drive several key initiatives, including upgrading a system to measure supply chain emissions globally across all modes of transportation.

“[Project44] is the world’s largest visibility company — by the number of carriers, by the geographies covered, by the modes of transportation,” Jett McCandless, project44 founder and CEO, told FreightWaves. “Because of all those modes of transportation and geographies, we’re in a unique position to help out with the reduction of scope 3 emissions from supply chains. We’re working aggressively to solve that and we will increase the funding on our sustainability budget.”

Chicago-based project44 operates an end-to-end visibility platform that tracks more than 1 billion shipments annually for over 1,200 companies in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, retail, food and beverage, and oil and gas, according to a news release. 

Supply chains account for 60% of global emissions, according to project44. Most supply chain emissions fall under scope 3: indirect emissions from activities and assets not owned or controlled by the shippers. Only 16% of companies currently measure their scope 3 emissions at an advanced level, according to consulting firm Accenture.  

By measuring scope 3 supply chain emissions, project44 aims to empower shippers and freight forwarders, allowing their customers to meet new carbon reporting requirements under International Maritime Organization 2023 and the European Union’s proposed corporate sustainability reporting directive.

McCandless said the scope 3 measurement system works for multimodal and truckload emissions.

“Our system, we have a digital twin of our [client’s] ocean vessel, of their primary and secondary engines that are driving the vessel and then the auxiliary generators and things like that,” McCandless said. “Oftentimes when people calculate emissions for most transportation, they say point A to point B, what’s the time and then they take an average. What you’ll find is that the average is wildly incorrect and usually underestimated the amount of emissions.”

Project44’s system takes in the current, the waterway, the actual real-time speed and the actual route, not just the potential miles from point A to point B.

“If you can take all that with a digital twin of the engines, then you can give an accurate calculation on how much carbon is emitted from these vessels,” McCandless said.

Project44 uses a similar method to measure the scope 3 emissions of full truckload shipments to track their carbon footprints.

“We have 4.3 million unique shipments a day to go through project44 — about $220 billion worth of transportation. That’s a lot of goods that we are able to have a substantial impact on,” McCandless said.

Joy Tuffield, growth equity partner at Generation Investment Management, said project44’s ability to accurately measure scope 3 emissions is what drew them to investing in the company.

“Despite decades of investment in supply chain technology, scope 3 emissions largely remain a black box for organizations,” Tuffield said. “In project44, we see a compelling opportunity to bring rigorous measurement and climate accountability to logistics.”

Along with A.P. Moller Holding and Generation Investment Management, the funding round also included Goldman Sachs Asset Management, TPG, Emergence Capital, Chicago Ventures, Sapphire, 8VC, Sozo Ventures and Omidyar Technology Ventures.

Project44 also won the top spot again in FreightWaves’ annual FreightTech 25 awards, which were announced Thursday at the F3: Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Project44 has been a part of FreightWaves’ FreightTech 25 awards since it began in 2018 and has never ranked lower than No. 2. Last year, project44 unseated Amazon Freight for the No. 1 position.

“It’s a real honor and we are humbled to have such an award,” McCandless said. “As consumers, we can all appreciate that Amazon has changed logistics in meaningful ways. You can imagine my surprise last year when we dethroned Amazon to move into the No. 1 position. You can imagine my nervousness this year, so I was quite delighted, honored and humbled to receive the No. 1 position again.”

Watch: FreightWaves announces the first place winner of the 2022 FreightTech 25 awards.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]