Katana raises US$11mn Series A to develop manufacturing ERP
With ambitions to be “the manufacturing Entrepreneur’s secret weapon,” Katana has raised US$11mn in a Series A investment round “to accelerate the speed of building and delivering new features and continue improving the customer experience.”
Alongside an early investment made by , the funding investment round led by - with participation from several angel investors - brings its total investment funds raised to US$16mn. As part of the investments, Ben Blume, Partner at Atomico will join Katana’s board.
“From the first time we met Kristjan, we were incredibly impressed by the clarity of his vision to transform operations for modern manufacturers globally, and his step-by-step plan for how to achieve this,” commented Ben Blume, Partner at Atomico.
"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 relentless product-focused 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,” he added.
Future plans for Katana
With ambitions to modernise and enable all manufacturing entrepreneurs across the world access to best in class manufacturing ERP, Katana’s latest investment funds will further the organisation’s plans to help its customers to boost productivity and scale their business, by growing its team and increasing the pace that it can improve its products.
“We will use the funding to scale our team and keep developing the product to serve and delight an even larger number of manufacturers daily and continue to build Katana towards the best manufacturing software for modern manufacturing in the world,” commented Kristjan Vilosius, Katana Co-founder and CEO.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.