Schenker has opted to invest in two young companies that are developing innovative logistics approaches with high growth potential. These are the startups Fernride and Dexory. Both capital injections, which are minority shareholdings, open the door for Schenker to soon make its own business processes more efficient and productive, using concepts developed by Fernride and Dexory.
Hence, both are investments in the future, not least DB Schenker’s own. However, as is well known, venture capital involves a certain risk for the backers. After all, it remains to be seen whether the solutions developed by each of the two startups will prove successful in practice. Yet, it can be assumed that the experts at Schenker Ventures have thoroughly examined the risk assessments before according the deals.
Dexory robots up inventory transparency
As to the funds channeled by Schenker Ventures into Fernride and Dexory - the parties involved are unwilling to disclose the amounts. In Dexory's Series A funding round that took place in JUN23, the British newcomer raised US$19 million. Concerning Fernride, Schenker Ventures, among other investors, has been involved since NOV22.
The Dexory-developed automated collection, accumulation, storage, and processing of information enables companies to optimize their logistical processes within warehouses or depots, by smartly combining artificial intelligence and robotics. Its autonomous robot, which resembles a pillar, is capable of capturing inventory data from across a stockroom and transforming the findings into bar charts or curve diagrams displayed in real time on a separate screen. This combination provides comprehensive visibility across individual warehouses of any size, as well as connects sites across the global supply chain through the startup's digital platform. Thanks to its extendable telescopic arm, the robot can accurately capture data from stored shipments up to a height of 15 meters inside warehouses, as trials have shown.
“Dexory has engineered a solution that not only boasts seamlessness and user-friendliness, but also provides a remarkable depth and speed of inventory data collections setting Dexory apart, enabling efficient and accurate insight,” states Paulina Banszerus, Head of Venture Capital, Schenker Ventures. She goes on to say: “The technology's visualization is impressive, whilst being scalable in the future. And that’s what makes Dexory a great fit to our innovative portfolio.”
That portfolio already includes newcomers such as drone manufacturer and operator, Volocopter, Squake - a start-up founded by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub whose goal is to decarbonize logistics and mobility companies, and Fernride. The latter equips trucks with technology for semi-autonomous driving, that can be remotely controlled by operators in a teleoperation center when needed, such as during critical traffic conditions when human intervention is paramount for security reasons.
More than a bridging technology
Commenting on the Fernride investment, Paulina Banszerus says: “Fernride's competitive advantage in the autonomous driving market, is its current operational readiness. However, it is more than just a bridging technology. Teleoperation's excellent performance enables the application of autonomous technologies in logistics by solving technological, legal and safety challenges.”
Addressed by CargoForwarder Global, a spokesperson of DB Schenker announced that the logistics giant supports both startups’ journeys not only with capital but also by giving them access to its global network of logistics experts and industry contacts. He further said that automation will be one of several solutions to address the growing challenge of labor market shortages.
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