Inspectorio, a startup that moved to Minneapolis after completing Target’s Techstars accelerator program, has raised an additional $10 million it will use to further expand its efforts to modernize and improve how retailers monitor their supply chains.
“It’s a big milestone for us,” Carlos Moncayo Castillo, the company’s CEO, said of its Series A funding round in a phone interview from Vietnam, where the firm has rapidly grown its engineering team from around a dozen to about 80 people in the last year and a half.
Among the investors are Target, which was the lead investor in Inspectorio’s $3.7 million seed round, as well as St. Paul-based Ecolab. Techstars Ventures led the Series A funding round.
“We’re looking forward to supporting Inspectorio in its next phase of growth,” Minsok Pak, Target’s chief strategy and innovation officer said in a statement. “Our investment in Inspectorio is a good example of how our accelerator programs in the U.S. and India allow us to work with numerous startups that are developing exciting products for our guests and delivering new technologies that help us innovate our business.”
While there is often a time lag to receive handwritten factory inspections, Inspectorio has built a platform to digitize those inspections and uses machine learning so retailers and brands can monitor their supply chains in real time. This also allows them to flag and address problems more quickly in areas such as quality and compliance. In doing so, Inspectorio aims to bring more efficiency, transparency and accountability to supply chains.
Retailers are finding themselves under increasing pressure from consumers to be more transparent about working conditions and the ingredients used to make products. At the same time, retailers are interested in potentially cutting costs by spotting problems in the production process earlier on.
“We’ve been growing very aggressively on many fronts,” Castillo said.
Inspectorio now has about 130 employees, including about eight people in downtown Minneapolis as well as teams in China and a recently opened engineering office in Belarus. It plans to grow to 200 employees in the next six months. The Minneapolis office where Castillo’s brothers, two of the company’s co-founders, are based was opened after the Techstars accelerator two years ago; it will be doubled in size.
While it has spent the last couple years adding American companies to its platform, Inspectorio will soon open an office in Europe with an eye to recruiting more brands from that continent.
More than 3,000 companies have already signed up to use Inspectorio’s technology, he said.
“That by itself makes us the largest quality inspection platform in the world of consumer goods,” Castillo said.
After piloting its platform with Target, Inspectorio is in the midst of rolling out its network to monitor more than 3,000 facilities that make apparel, footwear, accessories and home goods for Target, he said.
With the infusion of funding, Inspectorio is also planning to launch a sustainability platform that will measure factories’ compliance with environmental standards.