Factor Secures $6 Million to Modernize Supply Chain’s “First Mile” Infrastructure

December 12, 2021

Seed Round Led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-Focused Fund.

Factor, the leading payments and order management platform for the global supply chain, today announces that it has raised $6 million in seed funding, led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused fund, with participation from investors Xfund, Afore, and South Park Commons.


The Factor story started for co-founders Doug Shultz and Michael Szewczyk early on. They both grew up in industrial areas of Wisconsin and worked in the manufacturing industry. They met while working together on a graduate school project at Harvard Business School and Stanford to solve the supply chain’s “First Mile” problem — the proliferation of manual processes and limited access to data that cause shortages and delays in the very first steps of production before goods are shipped. The company now serves 250 + companies, primarily mid-sized manufacturers, that use Factor’s software to decrease the time and resources required to move from product design to finished goods. 

“Most people hear ‘supply chain disruption’ and think of container ships stalled outside a port. But the overwhelming majority of disruptions happen before goods ship — in the supply chain’s First Mile.”

Doug Shultz, Factor co-founder and CEO.

The First Mile is where the decisions are made that have the biggest impact on the success or failure of trillions of dollars of transactions: sourcing, scheduling, following up on order status, and enforcing order terms. These processes are fundamental, yet because manufacturers and their suppliers rarely use the same ERP, they end up happening manually in email, spreadsheets and PDFs — or not at all. There is no single source of truth for the state of an order in the supply chain's First Mile. Add complexity to the mix — manufacturers will routinely have hundreds or thousands of orders to manage — and pain ensues.

Factor is tackling this problem head on, with an order and supplier management system for fast-growing companies that brings automation and consistency to order tracking, supply chain risk & performance monitoring, and supplier payments.

Factor was founded out of a frustration with the existing options on the market: time-consuming spreadsheets, or heavy and expensive ERP systems that frustrate suppliers. Factor deploys in minutes, and we leverage AI technology so that 99% of suppliers can start using Factor with no onboarding or training.

Order line item ETAs are always up to date in Factor so disruptions are escalated as soon as they happen

“Factor’s technology has enabled us to increase the quantity and quality of data we are capturing from our supply base, without placing extra burden on our suppliers. It has been a game changer for our ability to track and escalate exceptions, and build a lean and reliable supply operation,”

Bryan Siegal, VP of Customer Success at Vecna Robotics, an autonomous material handling solutions provider.

With this new capital, we're excited to accelerate development of our new just-in-time inventory financing solution, key ERP integrations, and additional features for high-volume manufacturing customers.

Customers can pay any supplier instantly using a credit card, bank transfer, or Factor Inventory Financing

We're hiring! Check out open roles at factor.io/about

Interested in learning more? Reach us at hi [at] factor.io.