Milwaukee-based Renaissant, the IT company behind loading dock intelligence platform Dock|C2, has raised $1.07 million in funding to support future growth. The company completed a $770,000 funding round this month and received a $300,000 technology development loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Through its digital platform Dock|C2, Renaissant helps warehouse and logistics companies improve loading operations. The tool organizes warehouse and transportation management system data in one place, allowing companies to visualize their operations. It then optimizes shipping and receiving schedules based on weather, traffic patterns and other variables incorporated into its machine learning algorithms.
Thomas Dean, president and chief executive officer of Renaissant, said the company has done the opposite of what many new tech startups do today. Instead of starting with a simple, fast version of their platform and continually upgrading it and creating new versions, Renaissant’s Dock|C2 platform was originally more sophisticated.
“Our platform is built like a Ferrari. The next phase of our growth plan is accelerating sales,” Dean said.
To do this, the company is bringing on additional employees in sales and “customer success” departments. There are five current openings with Renaissant aimed at helping potential customers get started with the platform.
Moving forward, the Renaissant team will also continue working on advancing their machine learning and predictive analytics.
“We operate in this area that we call the magic triangle,” Dean said. “So our solution, it focuses solely on the meeting place of truck drivers, warehouses and freight yards. My view is that all of the congestion and problems we see across the supply chain, they all happen in that magic triangle. Our software, it organizes all the information that people on the ground need. It makes it visible and then things really start to move fast.”
The Dock|C2 platform is focused on reducing driver dwell time, which is the amount a truck driver is left waiting at a site. Dean said for one customer, the Dock|C2 platform was able to reduce the amount of dwell time per driver from one hour and 47 minutes per trip to one hour. That same customer ships 250 truckloads a day, equating to over 200 hours of driver dwell time saved a day.
The biggest challenge the company has had to navigate throughout the pandemic has been a lack of people. Truck drivers, warehouse workers and IT professionals are all needed.
“Over the past three months, what we’ve done is a lot of development on our end to make it so easy for customers to come onboard that we don’t need their IT teams. They can upload a spreadsheet and that will run everything. That’s kind of how we’ve had to adapt to a lack of IT resources,” Dean said.
Renaissant, named a BizTimes Innovation Award winner in 2021, was originally founded in 2018 by Dean and Patrick McGartland, co-founder and executive vice president.