Katana, an Estonian startup that has developed production-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for SMBs, has raised $ 11 million in Series A funding.
At the top of the round is the European venture capital company Atomico, in which angel investors Ott Kaukver (CTO of Checkout.com), Sten Tamkivi (CPO Topia, formerly Skype), Sergei Anikin (CTO, Pipedrive) and Kairi Pauskar (former HR -Architect of TransferWise). . Former donor 42Cap followed suit, bringing the company’s total investment to $ 16 million.
Katana was founded in 2017 by Kristjan Vilosius (CEO), Priit Kaasik (technical manager) and Hannes Kert (CCO) and positions itself as the “secret weapon of the entrepreneur manufacturer” with a plug-and-play ERP for small and medium-sized manufacturers. The idea is to wean companies off of existing legacy tools like spreadsheets and legacy software to manage inventory and production. The startup is also playing with macro trends like the emergence of online marketplaces and D2C e-commerce, which are leading to an explosion of independent manufacturers spanning cosmetics, home decor, electronics, apparel, and food and beverages.
“We are experiencing a global small-scale renaissance driven by the rise in e-commerce tools and consumer demand for bespoke products on site,” said Vilosius. “Just go through a big city from London to San Francisco and you will see workshops everywhere. Someone is doing organic cosmetics here; Somebody over there makes electric bikes. These businesses are run by passionate entrepreneurs who sell through traditional channels, but also direct-to-consumer channels, e-commerce stores and marketplaces, etc. This is a massive boom of manufacturers who want to develop products and sell them worldwide is not a trend that will go away tomorrow. “
The problem, however, is that small and medium-sized manufacturers don’t have the right software to support the workflows required to sell across channels – and this is where Katana comes in. The plug and play software claims to have a superior UX design specifically for boutique manufacturing, including features that support the workflow of modern manufacturers such as: B. Inventory control and optimization, purchasing materials, managing bills of materials, tracking costs and more. It also offers an API and integrations with popular ecommerce sales channels and accounting tools like Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, Xero, and others.
“We have developed the world’s best on-board manufacturing ERP, and that is a very important differentiation between us and our competitors,” explains Vilosius. “It’s so easy to implement that more than half of Katana users are on board themselves. It takes an average of less than a week to get Katana up and running compared to months for competitors. “
As an example, imagine how a company could use Katana, a boutique manufacturer that uses Shopify as its primary sales channel. Once configured, Katana collects orders from Shopify and knows whether the product is available or not so it can be shipped immediately. If it is not available, Katana will indicate whether the raw materials needed to make it are in stock and when the product could be ready. “We handle the entire process from sourcing the raw materials in the warehouse to planning manufacturing activities, execution and shipping when the product is ready,” says Vilosius.
Cue from Atomico partner Ben Blume, who joins the Katana board: “Atomico has always believed in the strength of the technology and product built in Estonia, and when we met the Katana team, we saw a familiar pattern: a relentless one Product-focused team with the incredible ability to build and think from the customer’s point of view and an unwavering belief that a new generation of manufacturers with big ideas shouldn’t settle for less than top-notch technology to support them. “