In February, the most popular Estonian company on MeetFrank was Katana Smart Manufacturing Software. 👏
What does the company do? What are their plans for 2021? Who are they recruiting at the moment? Without further ado, let’s get to know our gold medalist.
2021 started with successful Series A funding
Founded in 2017 and hailing from Estonia, Katana recently raised $11 million in Series A funding.
Providing modern manufacturing & inventory software for scaling businesses, Katana is part of an industry that was strongly boosted by the pandemic. Staying at home and not being able to socialise has led to a higher amount of online shopping and higher need of e-commerce tools.
Enterprise planning software is one of the biggest individual software categories, yet the sector has seen the least innovation. In other words, the long-established market leading systems are like horses in the world of Teslas (no longer fulfilling the market needs).
And this is where Katana jumps in with product love in a category that has been historically so loveless.
But what differentiates Katana from other competitors?
The e-commerce boom is fuelling the uniqueness of Katana. As the industry is rapidly changing – especially after the pandemic accelerated years of growth in just weeks – manufacturers of all sorts are looking for simpler and smarter ways to meet their customers’ needs.
The ability to support both D2C (direct-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) sales channels is crucial for emerging new manufacturing brands. This flexible integration is exactly the need of modern manufactures that Katana is catering.
Katana’s advantage is powered by its ability to provide smart manufacturing in a simpler way. According to CEO Kristjan Vilosius, their service is the world’s most self on-board-able manufacturing software.
The valuation is far from self-flattery, since stakeholders confirm that the company delivers the best-in-class product. The customer reviews speak for themselves and the investors, who led Katana’s Series A on behalf of Atomico, have pointed out the following strengths:
🏆 Clarity in the company’s vision – catering to market needs by offering software for every manufacturer globally.
🏆 The simple self on-board-ability – being global from the start and bringing in an outstanding number of organic leads.
🏆 Stellar delivery – surpassing the goals with an ease (revenue growth, churn reduction etc).
Transitioning “making and crafting” into “manufacturing”
Katana’s mission in simpler terms is to find scaling manufacturers that are growing out of Excel and provide them with smart production planning software combined with inventory/warehouse management. Katana has stepped in to save modern growing manufacturers from taking the huge leap from spreadsheets to overly complex and expensive enterprise software.
As mentioned before, simpler and smarter is the magic formula.
They started off as a service for micro manufacturers. But by now, over 30% of Katana’s product subscriptions come from the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) segment. And nearly 50% of customers are located in the USA.
Our readers, who love Japanese culture, probably have a question. Is there any connection between Katana the company and katana the samurai sword?
Indeed, while the founders assembled a pitch to build a Manufacturing SaaS, they met the following term: Toyota Production System. For them, the samurais and ninjas were pretty logical topics to explore. Katana, the cutting-edge manufacturing software won by a landslide. 🥷🥷🥷
Expanding the team and scaling Katana
We can safely say that the boom of e-commerce is not slowing down any time soon. But before Katana can grow their family of manufacturers, they need to grow their own team first.
In the beginning of 2021 Katana had around 40 employees. However this number is growing as we speak, since they are looking to double the size of the team by the beginning of 2022.
The katanauts (that’s what they call themselves) are a very international group of people with over 10 different nationalities (the more, the merrier).
The company offers its employees top-notch remote working infrastructure and a culture that has the best bits of a scaling startup. Innovative, yet stable. Not pivoting it’s roadmap every two months.
By redefining a large sector, building a world-class product, and meeting the needs of the underserved – Katana has the ambition and potential to be the next unicorn.
If you are interested in working in a company with huge growth potential, keep an eye on the MeetFrank app to catch when Katana has a new opening!
*We measure the company’s popularity by the number of positive matches with candidates on MeetFrank in a given month in a given country.