The pandemic has served as a large load test for the global supply chain, exposing vulnerabilities and challenges in the ever-increasing global economy. When determining solutions to mitigate future disruptions, organizations have focused on the physical logistics as well as building a resilient, connected supply chain. Crisp is a data connectivity platform that seamlessly integrates the data from the hundreds and thousands of value chain partners. The cloud-based platform frictionlessly connects with native systems that organizations are already using to ensure that it can serve as a complete digital ecosystem. Armed with the data, retailers, brands, and distributors have unprecedented visibility that powers planning, forecasting, pricing, inventory management, and more. Launched in early 2020, Crisp already works with the sales and inventory data from the top 80% of global retailers.
AlleyWatch caught up with Crisp CEO, Founder, and serial entrepreneur Are Traasdahl (Tapad) to learn more about how unlocking data makes the supply chain more resilient, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $61M, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Crisp has raised $35M in Series B funding, led by 3L with participation from existing investors FirstMark Capital and Spring Capital. In addition, our Series B includes generous support from a hand-selected group of investors who offer unique business acumen and connections to support our exponential growth, including Steve Papa, Scott Beattie, Kim Perell, James Brennan, Dermot Halpin, Jonah Goodhart, Noah Goodhart, Bill Wise, Mark Newhall, 9Yards Capital, Gaingels, Mike Barry, Tapas Capital, Ridgeback Capital, Carsten Thoma, and Blue Cloud.
Tell us about the product or service that Crisp offers.
Crisp connects and analyzes retail data across the supply chain, empowering brands, distributors, and retailers with real-time, actionable insights to keep shelves stocked, reduce waste, and skyrocket profitability.
After selling Tapad and traveling the world with my family, I saw first-hand the paradox of people going hungry while food rotted in fields — and understood that the food industry was plagued with inefficiency. The root of that inefficiency is slow-moving, inaccurate data.
How is Crisp different?
Unlike products that serve specific data needs for food brands or for retailers, Crisp lives and breathes in the flow lines between companies in the supply chain. By strengthening the connections between trading partners, we’re creating a seamless data ecosystem to help the entire supply chain operate from a single source of the truth. Through this “one platform” approach, Crisp can enable entirely new workflows across the supply chain.
What market does Crisp target and how big is it?
Crisp targets the retail market – one of the largest markets in the world with $8 trillion in revenue, and the potential impact of a similar digital transformation in the food industry is massive.
What’s your business model?
As an open-data platform, Crisp facilitates collaboration between retailers, distributors, and brands in real-time with a single source of truth. Brands subscribe to Crisp’s Inbound and Outbound Connectors, which automatically ingest and analyze sales and inventory data from the top 80% of global retailers. Data and insights are available through easy-to-use dashboards for teams across CPG, or through additional Outbound Connectors that pipe data into core applications like Excel, business intelligence tools, or cloud platforms. With convenient access to accurate and timely data, Crisp helps brands and retailers work together to keep shelves stocked, uncover new sales opportunities, and reduce waste.
What was the funding process like? What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
It was very important for us to identify investors who believe in our mission for the long term. Because our mission is so timely and relevant by all links in the supply chain, we were able to identify a hand-selected group of investors who offer unique business acumen and connections to support exponential growth.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
I think this quote from our lead investor Dave Leyer, Cofounder and Partner of 3L sums it up the best: “We invest in passionate founders solving large, important problems. Crisp aims to reduce global food waste by targeting the root cause – a lack of visibility into supply and demand data. COVID-19 has highlighted shortcomings in the entire consumer goods supply chain, and by serving as a data repository and a single source of truth that market participants (producers, distributors, retailers) can rely upon, Crisp can reduce food waste and inequality and improve the profitability of all players in the ecosystem. Crisp has a talented team and new funding will empower them to grow their industry-leading platform across customer segments for a more connected ecosystem.”
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
When I first arrived in New York, I saw that simple hard work could be the difference between having a good idea and actually accomplishing your goals. After launching and building multiple companies, I now see it as part logic and part magic. The logic is hard work and research, but when you’ve done that long enough, magic moments will happen – insights or connections that are breakthroughs. But those don’t happen without the logic piece first.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
Raoul’s in Soho – always a favorite.