French startup Pelico raises $18.5 million to offer Resilient operations, without the firefighting.

Parisian startup Pelico has announced raising a $18.5 million round for its supply chain management software proposition.

The round was led by VCs Serena Capital and 83North, the latter having closed its 11th VC fund at $400 million last month. Pelico also raised funds from La Famiglia, ISAI and a slate of angel investors, including Adrien Nussenbaum (of e-commerce stock marketplace Mirakl) and Carsten Thoma (software for omnichannel product marketing management at SAP’s Hybris.)

Last year’s semiconductor crunch proved there’s a lot of merit in the idea supply chains need far greater visibility from IT.  In 2022, shortages of various chemicals, fertilisers and plastics caused by a paucity of Russian fossil fuel imports – in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and pricier inputs from elsewhere are keeping supply chains centre stage.

Further trends like just-in-time manufacturing and increasing product complexity mean that software capable of constantly evolving the supply chain’s status and operational context to match logistics movement on the ground remains pretty lucrative for investment.

Tarik Benabdallah, CEO and co-founder of Pelico, said: “The complexity of operations in discrete manufacturing is constantly increasing as we are switching from a model of mass production to a model based on personalized products, reduced volumes and shorter cycle times.  “This complexity is also reinforced by recurring supply chain shocks (Brexit, Covid, Ukrainian war…)”

With its smart digital companion, Pelico aims to be the modern factory’s “operational management system”, drawing on data and AI to anticipate part shortages as well as simulating logistics strategies to estimate the impact on production lines.

Since getting off the ground three years ago, Pelico has ramped up outreach and now counts various German, French and Swiss factories as customers, and in a wide range of industries.

The $18.5 million round will allow Pelico to concentrate on technology enhancements and product, taking its intelligent supply chain assistant into more factory use cases.

Despite having quite a few competitors in this space, Pelico believes its smart digital companion can become a market leader, with plans to open a US office within 18 months.

Pelico also expects to hire 50 team members in France. The use case brochure touts a success story at Collins Aerospace, which managed to slash logistics cycles by half within a mere six weeks, leading to a 72% reduction in parts shortages.