Transparent Path

Early Stage

Transparent Path is transforming the supply chain for food and perishable goods, by providing real-time transparency, visibility and predictive intelligence. We're seeking a first round of financial support to expand our platform past pilot stage to get to Version 1

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $132,385

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

Netcapital

Start Date

09/01/2020

Close Date

02/25/2021

Min. Goal

$10,000

Max. Goal

$250,000

Min. Investment

$99

Security Type

Equity - Common

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Pre-Seed

Pre-Money Valuation

$3,925,000

Rolling Commitments $

Status
Funded
Reporting Date

02/28/2021

Days Remaining
Funded
% of Min. Goal

1,324%

% of Max. Goal

53%

Likelihood of Max
Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$748

Momentum
Funded
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Location

Seattle, Washington

Industry

Logistics, Delivery, & Supply Chain

Tech Sector

Foodtech

Distribution Model

B2B

Margin

High

Capital Intensity

High

Business Type

High Growth

Transparent Path, with a post-money valuation of $4.2 million, is raising funds on NetCapital. The platform is working on adding clarity and facts to the supply chains of foods and perishables. It uses artificial intelligence and continuously connected sensors to provide real-time transparency, visibility, and predictive intelligence to food producers. Eric Weaver founded Transparent Path in July 2018. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum raise of $10,000 and a maximum raise of $250,000, will be used for platform development, sales and marketing, equipment, customer support, loan repayment, and other expenses. Transparent Path is meant to bring stronger financials for producers, more resilient business ecosystems, forecasting disruptions, and faster traceability.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$0

$0

COGS

$0

$0

Tax

$0

$0

 

 

Net Income

$0

$0

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$0

$0

Accounts Receivable

$0

$0

Total Assets

$0

$0

Short-Term Debt

$0

$0

Long-Term Debt

$0

$0

Total Liabilities

$0

$0

Financials as of: 09/01/2020
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
Transparent Path 01/11/2022 Netcapital $4,622,986 $7,822 Equity - Common Active RegCF
Transparent Path 02/25/2021 Netcapital $3,925,000 $132,385 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
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Summary

Transparent Path has been selected as a “Deal to Watch” by KingsCrowd. This distinction is reserved for deals selected into the top 10%-20% of our due diligence funnel. If you have questions regarding our deal diligence and selection methodology, please reach out to hello@kingscrowd.com.

Analysis written by Katy Dolan.

Problem

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that “wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and represents nourishment that could have helped feed families in need.” The FDA estimates that 30-40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted — roughly 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food. 

Food waste is a tremendous issue, and it impacts multiple domains. Food rotting in landfills produces methane, which is almost 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide in damaging the ozone layer. Wasted food is a direct driver of climate change. Food banks — which are facing unprecedented demand during the coronavirus pandemic — are tremendously short on food supply. And the stats on food waste make it apparent that these shortages aren’t necessary. 

While food waste does occur at a household level, there are also systemic food waste problems to be solved. An estimated 20% of food goes to waste before it ever hits supermarkets due to unsafe storage and transportation conditions. Food supply chain stakeholders — including farmers, processors, transporters, and buyers — must take action to end food spoilage. They need a 21st century tool to do it.

Solution

Transparent Path is a hardware-and-software platform that helps food supply chain actors track their food shipments from farm to store. Food producers attach an LTE-enabled tracking sensor throughout a food shipment. That sensor links to the Transparent Path software dashboard and allows every actor that touches the food shipment to track temperature and location for optimum food safety. 

This Transparent Path system is solving many challenges for those participating in the food supply chain. Most importantly, food waste is reduced because Transparent Path sensors alert producers, storers, and transporters of any temperature or humidity changes. Food can then be saved quickly, averting wasted shipments. In addition, 21st century hardware and software tools are revolutionary for this industry, which still relies on the faxes and paper trails that accompany shipments. End-to-end tracking also improves transparency in the supply chain, making it easy to hold a specific actor in the supply chain accountable for food spoilage. 

Transparent Path was launched in 2018 and has forged key technical partnerships to improve its tracking system. Intel produces Transparent Path’s LTE-enabled tracking sensors. While these sensors are currently adequate and provide tracking data for several points throughout a shipment (near the door, near the back of the truck, etc.), sensor capabilities could be more precise. For that improvement, Transparent Path is partnering with Xerox to create advanced sensor labels that will adhere to each pallet of a food shipment. These refined trackers will provide significantly more granular data and improve users’ ability to avoid food spoilage down to the pallet level. 

Transparent Path will ultimately operate under a B2B SaaS business model, with physical hardware included within customers’ subscription packages. Users subscribe to Transparent Path on a monthly basis, with a three-month minimum subscription. As the company adds additional features, customers can access those as add-ons to their base subscription package. At present, Transparent Path generates revenue from advisory services like audits, workshops, reports, and customer support. The company anticipates that these services will continue to be a minor line item after subscription revenue options are launched. 

Transparent Path generated roughly $4,000 in revenue in 2019 and operated at a net loss of just over $13,000. The company is raising funds on NetCapital at a $3.95 million valuation to fund expansion beyond its pilot stage.

Team

Eric Weaver, Transparent Path’s CEO, has held leadership roles at global companies like P&G, Kraft, and Johnson & Johnson, focused primarily in marketing. He managed a $550 million book of business in marketing services for Xerox’s Customer Experience Practice before launching Transparent Path. 

Weaver expanded the Transparent Path team in mid-2020 to include additional senior executives with experience at Fortune 500 companies. Mark Kammerer, Transparent Path’s Chief Commercial Officer, previously served in executive roles at Royal Caribbean, Club Med, Holland America, and Expedia. He also serves on the board of Food Lifeline, one of Seattle’s largest food banks. 

Transparent Path CTO Sunil Koduri is a senior technologist with previous experience at General Dynamics and Microsoft. Before Transparent Path, he built a software platform that applied computer vision and machine learning to analyze body movement. 

Beyond the C-suite, Transparent Path employs several other seasoned leaders. Lauren Adler, Transparent Path’s Director of Product Management, has deep experience in food retailing and supply chain as the former leader of the perishable foods division for a supermarket brand. Greg Lind, Director of Platform Engineering, is an open-source advocate and engineering leader with experience at Hewlett-Packard and Metro Regional Government. Paulé Wood — previously Amazon’s global lead for last-mile user experience — manages Transparent Path’s UX/UI design and brand storytelling as Director of Experience.

Growth Plan

Transparent Path’s SaaS business model and integration of hardware and software are recent developments, as is the expansion of the company’s team to include several senior leaders. The company is in a period of transition to hone in on product-market fit. It is currently conducting enterprise pilots before a full hardware-and-software launch. 

In the next 1-2 years, Transparent Path is focused on developing enhanced sensor labels with Xerox to refine its hardware capabilities. Almost 40% of raised funds will be devoted to research and development, assumedly for both this project and continued software improvements. Additional funds will be directed toward staff salaries. The remainder will be split among marketing, operations, administration, and other miscellaneous line items.

Why We Like it

  • Potentially disruptive solution for a valuable industry: Transparent Path’s unique hardware-plus-software approach for tracking food shipments is seemingly unique within the food supply chain space. It is also a common-sense approach to solve the simple but serious problem of food spoilage. One firm estimates that the food traceability market will reach $15.1 billion in size by 2021, with a CAGR of 7.1% between 2016 and 2021. Transparent Path is confident that they are the only company providing end-to-end food tracking with both hardware and software. That positioning makes the company well-positioned to capture significant market share from producers, storers, and transporters that are in dire need of a modern solution.

  • Deeply experienced leadership team: The recent expansion of the Transparent Path team stacked the company’s roster with senior leaders from leading companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Royal Caribbean, Xerox, and many more. It is not clear that these executives work full-time for Transparent Path (given that the company’s salary line item is very small compared to the executives’ presumed earning requirements), but even their part-time strategic guidance is significant for a company of this size. Moreover, certain members of the team do have focused food supply chain experience, which can hopefully help translate the team’s decades of general business acumen to succeed in this specific space. 

Rating

Transparent Path aims to eliminate food spoilage through the deployment of a sophisticated hardware-and-software food tracking solution, thereby making a dent in the hugely damaging effects of food waste. The company has already cultivated relationships with technology partners like Intel and Xerox. It is well on the road to launching an impressive all-in-one solution for food tracking. 

That being said, prospective investors should note that Transparent Path seems to be actively pivoting its focus and business models to land on the best approach to tackling food spoilage and food waste. The company initially began with a blockchain-based approach to food storage, which was shelved to build the current software platform. The company rather inexplicably conducted a consumer-focused research study on food purchasing habits, indicating an unexplained interest in communicating with consumers. While every early-stage company pivots rapidly to locate product-market fit, Transparent Path’s particular lack of laser focus on a specific solution and target market may present scaling challenges. 

Transparent Path’s exit potential is speculative given the company’s early stage. Moreover, the agriculture and food supply chain technology industries are relatively young, and there are few models for successful acquisition or IPO. Transparent Path’s technology could become an attractive asset in the race toward grocery dominance among brands like Amazon, WalMart, and Instacart. Actors closer to the middle of the food supply chain — such as agricultural companies like Simplot — may also see the value in bringing an end-to-end shipment tracking system in-house. Exit pathways are purely speculative at this stage. 

Transparent Path is a very early-stage company that has not yet launched its flagship product after two years of operation. However, the company’s proposed solution to food spoilage is a seemingly novel and reasonable one. The presence of several senior business executives increases the likelihood that Transparent Path achieves product-market fit in the near future. Therefore, Transparent Path is a Deal to Watch.

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Transparent Path on NetCapital
$
Platform: Netcapital
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $3,925,000
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