Katana, an Estonian startup that has built manufacturing-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for SMBs, has raised $11 million in Series A funding.
Leading the round is European venture capital firm Atomico, with participation from angel investors Ott Kaukver (Checkout.com CTO), Sten Tamkivi (CPO Topia, formerly Skype), Sergei Anikin (CTO, Pipedrive) and Kairi Pauskar (former TransferWise HR Architect). Previous backer 42Cap also followed on, bringing the total investment raised by the company to date to $16 million.
Founded in 2017 by Kristjan Vilosius (CEO), Priit Kaasik (engineering lead) and Hannes Kert (CCO), Katana positions itself as the “entrepreneur manufacturer’s secret weapon” with a plug-and-play ERP for small to medium-sized manufacturers. The idea is to wean companies off existing antiquated tools such as spreadsheets and legacy software to manage inventory and production. The startup is also playing into macro trends, such as the advent of online marketplaces and D2C e-commerce, which are resulting in an explosion of independent makers, spanning cosmetics to home décor, electronics to apparel, and food and beverages.
“We are seeing a global renaissance of small manufacturing driven by the rise of e-commerce tools and consumer demand for bespoke products produced locally,” says Vilosius. “Just walk around any big city from London to San Francisco, and you’ll see workshops all around you. Someone’s making organic cosmetics here; over there, someone is making electric bikes. These companies are run by passionate entrepreneurs selling through traditional channels, but also selling through direct-to-consumer channels, e-commerce stores and marketplaces, etc. This is a massive boom of makers wanting to create products and sell them globally, and it is not a trend that will disappear tomorrow”.
The issue, notwithstanding, is that little and medium-sized producers don’t have the correct programming to help work processes important to sell through different channels — and this is the place where Katana comes in. The fitting and-play programming claims a better UX planned explicitly than power shop fabricating, including usefulness supporting the work processes of present-day makers, for example, stock control and improvement, and buying materials, overseeing bill-of-materials, following expenses and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It additionally offers an API and combinations with mainstream online business deals channels and bookkeeping apparatuses like Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, Xero, and others.
“We have assembled the world’s generally self on-board-capable assembling ERP, and that is a vital separation among us and contenders,” clarifies Vilosius. “Execution is easy to the point that the greater part of Katana’s clients self-locally available. It takes not exactly seven days on normal to get Katana going, contrasted with months for contenders”.
To act as an illustration of how an organization may utilize Katana, envision a store maker utilizing Shopify as their principle deals channel. When arranged, Katana pulls in requests from Shopify and knows whether the item is accessible so it very well may be sent right away.
In the event that it’s inaccessible, Katana shows if the vital crude materials expected to make are available and by when the item could be done. “We handle the whole interaction from getting the crude materials in the distribution center to arranging fabricating exercises, executing and delivery when the item is done,” says Vilosius.
Signal explanation from Atomico accomplice Ben Blume, who joins the Katana board: “Atomico has consistently had faith in the strength of Estonian-fabricated designing and item, and as we became acquainted with the group at Katana, we saw a natural example: a persistently item focussed group with the extraordinary capacity to assemble and think from their client’s perspective and a resolute conviction that another age of makers with enormous thoughts shouldn’t need to agree to not exactly top-notch innovation to help them.”