Plug and Play to invest $25 million in supply chain startups

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 1,216 views 

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based venture capital firm Plug and Play recently announced the close of a $25.5 million venture capital fund to support series A-C startups in the supply chain industry.

The Plug and Play Supply Chain Fund I L.P. is supported by multiple partners, including anchor partner RZC Investments, an investment firm founded by brothers Steuart and Tom Walton of Bentonville, grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

“We continue to be impressed with the flywheel Plug and Play has built to identify, validate and invest in category-defining startups across the globe,” said Donald Huffner, vice president of RZC Investments. “We look forward to collaborating with the Plug and Play team, alongside an impressive group of limited partners, to invest in transformational supply chain businesses both in Northwest Arkansas and internationally.”

Over the next two years, Plug and Play will make about 25 investments through the fund. According to a news release, Plug and Play is contributing about 10% of the capital for the fund. It is expected to complement Plug and Play’s supply chain accelerator that was started in 2017 at the company’s headquarters and expanded into Bentonville in 2019.

“Historically we’ve been successfully investing from our family office in pre-seed and seed-stage startups, but now with this new fund, we will also be able to invest in series A, B and C startups,” said Mike Zayonc, founder of Plug and Play Supply Chain and partner of Plug and Play’s Supply Chain Fund. “This is an enormous opportunity for us to invest in global startups going through our supply chain innovation program currently operating in Arkansas, Silicon Valley, Hamburg, Savannah and Toronto. Many of the best startups that go through our program are at the later growth stages as they can successfully scale to the demands of our large Fortune 500 supply chain partners.”

According to the release, the fund will support the growing startup ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas and continue to bring global leaders from the supply chain venture capital ecosystem to Bentonville. The investment focus will follow the same lines as the supply chain program and include warehouse automation, e-commerce logistics, last-mile delivery, sustainability in the supply chain, blockchain for supply chain, computer vision, artificial intelligence and manufacturing technology.

Following are notable recipients of Plug and Play’s previous supply chain-related investments: Shippo, Rappi and Einride. Some of Plug and Play’s portfolio companies include Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey and PayPal.