Our investment in Katana: the Manufacturing Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon
Several years ago, a few friends in Estonia started a small manufacturing workshop to sell direct to consumer. Business was good, but spreadsheets didn’t scale as well as the business. It soon became a nightmare to find the right file, the right sheet, and even the right cell to keep track of production and inventory. Existing software didn’t help. It was too expensive, too outdated, or wasn’t made with manufacturers in mind. There had to be a better way.
That’s when Kristjan, Priit and Hannes founded Katana, a manufacturing ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform and the secret weapon of SMEs producing locally, selling online globally.
Atomico is proud to announce our investment in Katana, another milestone in our long commitment to the Estonian ecosystem and belief in Estonian-build engineering and product that starts in our roots in Skype, to our journey with Pipedrive since Series B, and now our partnership with the team at Katana. This is a company with the ambition to define a category with relentless customer-focus and meet the needs of a community underserved by technology, all ingredients we think set the team up to be Estonia’s next global success. As part of the round, Partner Ben Blume will join the board.
Consumer demand for customized, sustainable and locally-produced products is driving a renaissance in local manufacturing. Yet many small- and medium-sized manufacturers still rely on spreadsheets or outdated, expensive software to manage inventory and production, making it hard to scale and sell omnichannel. Katana’s flexible, plug-and-play manufacturing ERP software for SMEs eliminates worries about internal processes and is as easy to use as the best-in-class leading software tools that big businesses rely on.
Features support the workflows of the modern manufacturer, including the need for real-time, automated production master planning and real-time inventory control/optimization. It takes less than a week on average to get Katana up and running, compared to months for existing tools, and the modern, world-class UX helps the majority of users self-onboard. Finally, Katana has an integration-led design and provides compatibility with popular e-commerce sales channels and accounting tools such as Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, Xero and many more.
Since its founding 2017, Katana has worked with over 1,500 product-making businesses, and the teams that rely on Katana daily span consumer and B2B industries — making everything from organic cosmetics to home decor, electronics to apparel, food, beverages and even surfboards — in countries from the U.S. to New Zealand.
The company will use the new funding to build out its team and the product. Currently, the team includes world-class product, design, engineering and customer consulting specialists from companies such as TransferWise, Pipedrive, Bolt, Microsoft and Skype.
We are excited to join the Katana journey!