UPS has made a number of investments in supply chain & logistics tech companies while FedEx has focused on acquisitions.
UPS and FedEx are the two most active big logistics corporates investing in or acquiring private companies. The two companies accounted for 32 total deals and acquisitions since 2012, out of 63 total among all big logistics corporates placing bets in private markets.
We mapped UPS’ and FedEx’s investments and acquisitions using our Business Social Graph and categorized the areas of logistics where each company is placing their bets.
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UPS completed 23 total deals since 2012: 16 were made by its corporate venture arm, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund; 6 were completed by parent company UPS itself; and 1 deal was made by UPS Capital, the financial services unit of the company.
Examining the deals by industry, UPS’ investment activity can be bucketed into a few broad categories:
Health Logistics: UPS (proper) completed 3 deals to companies broadly involved in health logistics. One investment was made to medical supply drone delivery firm Zipline International ($800K grant 2016). UPS also acquired healthcare and pharmaceutical supply chain companies Marken in 2016 and CEMELOG in 2013.
Drones: Including the above investment in Zipline International, the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund made two investments in drone technologies. In 2015, it invested in infrastructure inspection drone company CyPhy Works, participating in the company’s $22M Series B financing.
E-commerce: UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund made three investments in e-commerce related companies, most recently investing in e-commerce-as-a-service company Ally Commerce as the sole investor in its Series B in 2015. Additionally, the fund also made two investments in e-commerce logistics company HubLogix, investing in its seed and Series A rounds ($2.6M in 2013, and $3.5M in 2015, respectively), and invested in e-commerce data company Itembase, participating in the second tranche of its Series A financing in 2014.
Trucking: UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund completed three deals to trucking-related companies. The VC arm invested in Peloton Technology, a trucking safety and fuel-efficiency technology company, participating in the company’s $16M Series A financing in 2015. The fund also invested in package transport platform Roadie, participating in both Series A and Series B investments. Additionally, in 2015, UPS acquired Coyote Logistics, a third-party logistics company aimed at the trucking industry, for $1.4B.
Unlike UPS, nearly all of FedEx Corporation’s deals were acquisitions. Additionally, while UPS made a number of investments in technology companies via a dedicated venture arm, the bulk of FedEx’s acquisitions were primarily of other logistics companies, rather than of emerging supply chain and logistics tech-focused startups.
FedEx’s acquisitions fall into three main categories:
Third-Party Logistics: This category saw the most deals by FedEx.
- This year the company acquired TNT Express for $4.78B. TNT Express operates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas.
- In 2014, the company acquired GENCO, a third-party logistics provider specializing in reverse logistics, for$1.4B. FedEx also acquired Supaswift – Operating Business that year. The company has extensive operations in Africa, providing service to South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia.
- In 2012, FedEx acquired freight logistics firm Rapidao Cometa. The company operates out of Brazil. FedEx also purchased TATEX, a shipments transportation firm operating in France.
Warehousing: The largest disclosed acquisition FedEx made in the past few years was a $54M purchase of OPEK, a warehousing and packaging company based out of Poland, in 2012.
E-commerce: FedEx acquired international e-commerce company Bongo International in 2014 for $42M.
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