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Global Logistics Focus Sept.19, 2016

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GLOBAL LOGISTICS FOCUS 2016 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 5A SPECIAL REPORT THE DEEP WELL of private equity and investor cash funding the development of logistics technology — whether for digital startups or established com- panies — is far from dry. But investors appear to be demanding more proof that "Uber for Trucking" concepts actually will work, paralleling a broader trend in the technology industry in which inves- tors are becoming more discerning in what companies they back and more demanding with balance sheets. Ba nya n Tech nolog y in Aug ust received $2 million in financing from River SaaS Capital, a newly formed private debt fund in the Cleveland area lending growth capital to software-as-a- service companies. That's a big boost for the company, founded in 2001. "Over the last 18 months or so, we went through a model valuation period," said Brian Smith, CEO of the Cleveland-based fi rm, which offers cloud-based collabora- tive freight management and pricing tools. "The validation has been very strong and our client base continues to grow." Apparently, it's no longer enough to be the next disrupter promising to disin- termediate and eliminate ineffi ciencies in supply chains. As logistics technol- ogy advances rapidly, the validation of potential business models is becoming a priority, and the winners will get the cash. Today, entrepreneurs starting trans- portation and log istics technolog y Investors increasingly are asking technology-based disrupters to prove their models before doling out funding By William B. Cassidy Photo: Peppinuzzo / OUND O PROVING GR

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