Katana, an Estonian startup that has constructed manufacturing-specific enterprise useful resource planning (ERP) software program for SMBs, has raised $11 million in Series A funding.
Leading the spherical is European enterprise capital agency Atomico, with participation from angel buyers Ott Kaukver (Checkout.com CTO), Sten Tamkivi (CPO Topia, previously Skype), Sergei Anikin (CTO, Pipedrive) and Kairi Pauskar (former TransferWise HR Architect). Previous backer 42Cap additionally adopted on, bringing the whole funding raised by the firm 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 producers. The thought is to wean corporations off present antiquated instruments resembling spreadsheets and legacy software program to handle stock and manufacturing. The startup can also be enjoying into macro traits, resembling the introduction of on-line marketplaces and D2C e-commerce, which can be leading to an explosion of impartial makers, spanning cosmetics to house décor, electronics to attire, and meals and drinks.
“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 downside, nevertheless, is that small and medium-sized producers don’t have the proper software program to help workflows crucial to promote by way of a number of channels — and that is the place Katana is available in. The plug-and-play software program claims a superior UX designed particularly to energy boutique manufacturing, together with performance supporting the workflows of contemporary producers, i.e. stock management and optimization, and buying supplies, managing bill-of-materials, monitoring prices and extra. It additionally provides an API and integrations with in style e-commerce gross sales channels and accounting instruments resembling Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, Xero and others.
“We have built the world’s most self on-board-able manufacturing ERP, and that’s a very important differentiation between us and competitors,” explains Vilosius. “Implementation is so simple that more than half of Katana’s users self-onboard. It takes less than a week on average to get Katana up and running, compared to months for competitors”.
As an instance of how an organization would possibly use Katana, think about a boutique producer utilizing Shopify as their principal gross sales channel. Once configured, Katana pulls in orders from Shopify and is aware of whether or not or not the product is on the market so it may be shipped instantly. If it’s unavailable, Katana shows if the crucial uncooked supplies wanted to manufacture are in inventory and by when the product may be completed. “We handle the entire process from getting the raw materials in the warehouse to planning manufacturing activities, executing and shipping when the product is done,” says Vilosius.
Cue assertion from Atomico accomplice Ben Blume, who joins the Katana board: “Atomico has always believed in the strength of Estonian-built engineering and product, and as we got to know the team at Katana, we saw a familiar pattern: a relentlessly product-focussed team with the incredible ability to build and think from their customer’s point of view, and an unwavering belief that a new generation of manufacturers with big ideas shouldn’t have to settle for less than world-class technology to support them.”