Katana, an Estonian startup that created manufacturing-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for SMBs, has raised $ 11 million in Series A funding.
Round-leading European venture capital firm Atomico is partnered by angel investors Ott Koukvar (checkout dot CTO), Stan Tamkivi (CPO Topia, formerly Skype), Sergei Anikin (CTO, Pipdrive) and Kyrie Pausker (former Transfer Wise HR Architect). is. . Previous backer 42Cap also increased the company’s total investment to $ 16 million.
Founded in 2017 by Kristen Vilosius (CEO), Preet Kasik (engineering lead) and Hannes Kurt (CCO), Katana is herself one of the “entrepreneurial builder’s secret weapon” with plug-and-play ERPs for small to medium-sized manufacturers Deploys as The idea is to remove companies from existing archaic 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, resulting in an explosion of independent manufacturers, ranging from cosmetics to home decor, electronics to apparel and food and beverages. Are spread over.
“We are seeing a global renaissance of small manufacturing due to the demand for e-commerce tools and locally produced Bespoke products,” says Vilosius. “” Just walk around any major city from London to San Francisco, and you’ll see workshops all around you. Make organic cosmetics here; Over there, someone is building an electric bike. These companies are run by enthusiastic entrepreneurs selling through traditional channels, but also through direct-to-consumer channels, e-commerce stores and marketplaces, etc. This is a huge boom of manufacturers wanting to make products and sell them worldwide, and this is not a trend that will disappear tomorrow ”.
However, the problem is that small and medium-sized manufacturers don’t have the right software to support the workflows needed to sell through multiple channels – and that’s where Katana comes from. Plug-and-play software boasts an improved UX design. Specifically for power boutique manufacturing, which includes supporting the workflow of modern manufacturers, i.e. inventory control and optimization, and purchasing materials, managing bill-of-materials, tracking costs, and more. It also provides an API and integration with popular e-commerce sales channels and popular tools such as Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, Xero and others.
“We’ve built the world’s most self-built buildable ERP, and it’s a very important distinction between us and competitors,” Vilosius explains. “The implementation is so simple that more than half of Katana’s users are self-onboard. In comparison to the months for contestants, the katana takes less than a week to get up and running.
As an example of how a company might use Katana, imagine a boutique manufacturer using Shopify as their main sales channel. Once configured, Katana orders from Shopify and knows if the product is available or not, so it can be shipped immediately. If it is unavailable, the katana displays that the raw materials required for manufacture are in stock and when the product may be finished. “We carry out the entire process from acquiring raw materials in the warehouse to planning, executing and shipping manufacturing activities when the product is done,” Vilosius says.
The statement from Atomico’s partner Ben Bloom, who joins the Katana board: “Atomico has always believed in Estonian-made engineering and product strength, and as we got to know the team at Katana, we saw a familiar pattern: A tireless product – team with an incredible ability to build and think from their customer’s point of view, and an unwavering belief that a new generation of big-thought-makers should not compromise on less than world-class technology to support them. “