Ottawa-based startup Raven.ai is looking to lessen Canada’s supply chain issues by streamlining production lines, after having recently secured $12 million USD in Series A equity financing.
Founded in 2013 by McGill graduate Martin Cloake, Raven’s overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) improvement software aims to help address labour costs and mitigate supply chain inefficiencies by providing overviews of equipment effectiveness and production losses.
“Raven’s solution will play a key role in engaging these frontline teams to provide the critical context and shop floor insights needed for businesses to drive lean improvements and gains.”
Raven’s round was led by Momenta Ventures and Chartline Capital Partners with participation from Celtic House Venture Partners and Export Development Canada. According to Raven, the startup has raised a total of $16.5 million USD, including funding from prominent angel investors like Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke and Rob Ashe from Cognos and IBM analytics.
Canada has faced supply chain issues since COVID-19 as shifting trade patterns, climate-based disruptions and increased geopolitical risk have created production backlogs across the country.
According to a 2022 survey by StatsCan, nearly half of Canadian businesses in manufacturing (47.8 percent) expect difficulty acquiring inputs, products or supplies domestically over the next three months, with nearly three-fifths (54.3 percent) expecting these challenges to continue for six months or more.
To date, Raven’s software has helped reduce downtime and increase revenue at production lines at companies like Coca-Cola, Walmart and Michelin. Raven analyzes and compares data from machines and operators to provide an overview of all OEE and production losses, while providing context for everything happening on the production line.
“To address labour costs and mitigate supply chain issues, the majority of manufacturers have begun reshoring their productions. This will bring hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs back to Canada and the US to help boost our economies,” said Phil Stern, managing director at Chartline Capital Partners.
“We believe Raven’s solution will play a key role in engaging these frontline teams to provide the critical context and shop floor insights needed for businesses to drive lean improvements and gains.”
Raven said that the current macroeconomic forces including rising costs, increasing scarcity of skilled labour and supply chain disruptions make it even more essential for manufacturers to improve efficiency.
As a result, corporations are looking to invest heavily in Industry 4.0 solutions in the coming years, with reshoring efforts and spending on such technologies expected to increase from $263 billion USD last year to more than $1.1 trillion USD by 2028.
It has been argued that OEE software such as Raven’s may also help combat current inflation rates in Canada, as streamlining production can contribute to incremental efficiencies across supply chains.