Innovation // Trusted Partner

Why Lineage Ventures Invests in Next-Generation Cold Chain Startups

An article by Sudarsan Thattai, Chief Information Officer

July 16, 2021

As a leader in the temperature-controlled logistics industry, Lineage takes seriously its responsibility to challenge the status quo and be a catalyst for change.

While we already drive Silicon Valley-style innovation within Lineage, we also know that sometimes the smartest ideas don’t always come from within our family.

Lineage’s deep roots in entrepreneurship, innovative thinking, and passion for technology mean we are always on the search for industry-leading ideas in the temperature-controlled logistics space. To further accelerate this vision, Lineage recently announced our official partnership with 8VC, the world’s fastest-growing and active venture capital firm in logistics technology.

Working with 8VC and its co-founder and partner, Jake Medwell, will help us redefine enterprise technology in the temperature-controlled logistics sector and spark business change grounded in the digital tools that drive customer experience. We plan to increase the pace of joint investments in promising supply chain technology companies, while also supporting existing companies in our respective portfolios by leveraging Lineage’s large network and relationships.

Our partnership with 8VC compliments the work we’re doing with Lineage Ventures, which is our technology investment initiative. Lineage Ventures launched in 2019 and is dedicated to identifying emerging, high-impact technologies and platforms that will drive innovation in the global supply chain, logistics and transportation sectors.

Our investment philosophy guides us toward companies with leading supply chain and logistics products and/or platforms, AI-driven software, tech-enabled marketplaces, energy management, IoT tools and next-generation refrigeration technologies which ultimately help to store and move food around the world more creatively and efficiently than ever before.

We invest not just in technologies but also in extraordinary founders who are building start-ups that can transform the temperature-controlled supply chain. We endeavor to work with companies where the broader Lineage platform can help unlock value through collaboration, as a way to test ideas and concepts, and even as a customer of these startups.

As an example of this vision, Lineage Ventures most recently invested in Project44STORD and Baton – Series E, Series C and Series A (respectively) round startups.

  • Project44 is a seven-year-old Chicago-based company that has built an API-based platform that it says acts as “the connective tissue” between transportation providers, third-party logistics companies, shippers and the systems. Using predictive analytics, the platform provides crucial real-time information such as estimated time of arrivals (ETAs).
  • STORD is an end-to-end solution for shippers through a cloud-based platform connected to over 500 warehouses and 20,000 carriers. The company offers national warehouse capacity, digital freight shipping, an integrated logistics network and two-day fulfillment for e-commerce orders from anywhere in the U.S.
  • Baton is building a network of drop zones at partner facilities – such as Lineage – outside major urban centers. Carriers leave loaded trailers at Baton’s drop zones and pick up new loads in minutes, without navigating dense city traffic or waiting for live unloads at a receiver. Baton works with fleets of local drivers to move the loads from the drop zones to their destinations and bring outbound freight back to the drop zones.

At Lineage, our purpose is to transform the food supply chain to eliminate waste and help feed the world, but you’ll notice that every part of our purpose is focused on those around us. Our investments through Lineage Ventures, and in partnership with 8VC, help us fulfill this purpose so that our customers, industry, and the world, can benefit from more efficient and effective ways of moving and storing food.

The result? A food supply chain that reduces food and energy waste and gets food where it is needed most.