Vekia, a key player in Machine Mearning in the Supply Chain sector, a key figure in French Tech, and Euratechnologies incubatee, has attracted investors for another round. Leading this round have been Serena Capital and Bpifrance, as they join the company’s previous investors: Pléiade Venture, CapHorn Invest and Zenium Technology Partners (ZTP), also participating in additional financing.
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Vekia, a key player in machine learning in the Supply Chain market and an expert in forecasting demand and supply management, raises € 12 million to accelerate its international expansion in the United Kingdom, the United States and China, as well as to boost its technological progress.
This fundraising follows an initial investment of € 2.4 million in 2015.
« Vekia is entering a crucial phase of its development in France, Europe and internationally. We are recognized as a leader in AI and an expert in forecasting demand and supply management. Today, this success and this acknowledgement allows us to complete a record fundraiser that shows the dynamism of the French technology industry. This new round will help us to realize our founding aim of offering next-generation Supply Chain solutions. This new capital will also give us the means to expand Vekia to Britain, the United States and Asia, while continuing to innovate to be as disruptive as possible. » Vekia President & Founder, Manuel Davy, and CEO, Dominique Rérat.
Applying Machine Learning to Supply Chain
Vekia is positioning itself in changing Retail market and equips distributors to face the new challenges of the sector and to satisfy ever more demanding consumers.
Due to its strong industry knowledge, high technical skills and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, Vekia optimizes in-store and warehouse deliveries with an extremely accurate forecasting of demands and sales. This makes it so distributors can effectively respond to consumer purchases without cluttering their stores and warehouses with unnecessary stock.
With this solution, retailers increase turnover and margins, while also saving working capital. By considering transaction history, planned promotions and seasonality through an agile and robust platform, Vekia saves working time while ensuring up to 97% accuracy in its forecasts.
Vekia solutions are adapted to a number of industries, contributing to better margins, while encouraging relocation and reducing pollution and greenhouse gases by lessened transport and production.
Large names on Vekia’s client list include Galeries Lafayette, Mr. Bricolage, Goal, Leroy Merlin and the Etam Group.
In terms of Vekia’s technological strides, the company boasts 120 man-years in engine construction, due to the work of six dedicated AI scientists.
Global Acceleration and Enhanced Performance
Already positioned in Italy and Poland, Vekia opened a London office in April 2016. The fundraising will allow the startup to accelerate its investments in the UK market. Vekia also intends to continue international expansion by launching US activities by the beginning of 2018 prior to Asia.
Vekia currently employs 60 people and continues to build the team with plans to double the staff size in the next year. During the growth period, Vekia continues to enhance its AI solutions, specifically in Machine Learning, and now offers all its solutions in SaaS mode, to enable new technological advances.
For Anne-Valérie Bach, Partner at Serena Capital: « Vekia, rising star of the French Tech, has very good performance, exponential growth and financial strength. This success is first and foremost due to their great expertise in AI, mastery of complex Supply Chain processes and perfect knowledge of distribution. This startup has the potential to become an iconic success story and we are confident that it will become the world leader in its market in the coming years. We are pleased to provide our experience and support. »
Awarded and recognized by international firms including Gartner, Vekia creates and implements the most advanced supply chain management solutions on the market with AI algorithms. Specialized in Retail, Vekia's provisional supply management solutions help distributors and manufacturers to achieve excellence in managing their inventories, with rapid and strong impacts on turnover and margin. Vekia improves every act of inventory management, whether small or large. The most innovative retailers already drive their stocks with Vekia: Galeries Lafayette, Mr. Bricolage, BUT, Leroy Merlin and Etam Group.
Serena Capital was founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Today, Serena Capital is a leader in financing and supporting high-growth digital and innovative start-ups. The firm currently has more than 300 million Euros under management.
What makes Serena Capital unique is the strength and quality of the support they provide their portfolio companies with. In addition to being involved in a managerial advisory capacity, an internal support team also works very closely with portfolio companies to structure and speed up growth.
Serena Capital recently launched the first European fund entirely dedicated to Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
Serena I portfolio companies: AramisAuto (acquired by PSA), Bonitasoft, CoachClub, Arlettie, laFourchette (acquired by Tripadvisor), Launchmetrics, Melty, Prestashop, Prixtel, Sequans (NYSE : SQNS), SantéVet, Selectron, RSI Video Technologies, Worldstores
Serena II portfolio companies: Alkemics, Coorpacademy, TVTY, Work4, FinalCAD, Qualtera, Dataiku, TextMaster, Habiteo, Cheerz, Lengow, Evaneos, iContainers, Hopwork, Vekia
Serena Data Ventures: Heuritech, CybelAngel, Bestmiles
EuraTechnologies, the French incubator and accelerator, is a centre of excellence and innovation located in Lille on 80,000 m². EuraTechnologies supports the development of all digital entrepreneurs through a unique methodology and expertise in supporting companies from their beginning to their international deployment. Established in 2009, EuraTechnologies has been ranked in Europe's top 10 accelerators by Fundacity. EuraTechnologies is the precursor and spearhead of French digital economy of FrenchTech with 300+ companies, 3700+ employees, 300+ supported projects, 500+ annual events, 160M € + fundraising since 2009 (seed funding and Series A) and an international network (San Francisco, Dubai, Shanghai, New York, Belo Horizonte).
Due to its expertise and awareness of regional needs, EuraTechnologies in Lille is diversifying its offerings, particularly in Roubaix (BlancheMaille), with a new 13,000 sq.m. place dedicated to hosting and developing Retail champions. Considered an "Enabler" and revealer of talents, EuraTechnologies accelerates the digital transformation in the service of economic development. EuraTechnologies is supported by its three historic shareholders, the European Metropolis of Lille (MEL), the Hauts-de-France region and the City of Lille.
Equity investment are operated by Bpifrance Investissement. Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the French state and the Caisse des Dépôts and the entrepreneurs’ trusted partner, finances businesses from the seed phase to IPO, through loans, guarantees and equity investments. Bpifrance also provides operational services and strong support for innovation, export, and external growth in parnertship with Business France. Bpifrance offers to businesses a large range of financing opportunities at each key step of their development, including offers adapted to regional specificities. With its 50 regional offices (90% of decisions are made locally) Bpifrance represents a strategic tool for economic competitiveness dedicated to entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts as a back-up for initiatives driven by the French State and the Regions to tackle 3 goals:
- Contributing to SME’s growth
- Preparing tomorrow’s competitiveness
- Contributing to the development of a positive entrepreneur ecosystem.
With Bpifrance, businesses benefit from a powerful, efficient and close representative, to answer all their needs in terms of financing, innovation and investment.