German logistics network provider Deutsche Post Ventures led this second round, which also included Japan's Mitsubishi International and previous investors Alloy Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. Deutsche Post and Mitsubishi are expected to become big buyers of Open Harbor's services.
The San Carlos, Calif., company hosts software that automates transactions, as well as systems that update databases with changes in international trade regulations in various countries. The software tracks transactions based on guidelines established by its customers and uses algorithms to analyze global databases to alert customers to security issues.
Trade bottlenecks since Sept. 11 have heightened awareness of supply-chain logistics and the importance of shipping companies having proper documentation, says Ian Morton, a software analyst with J.P. Morgan H&Q. He adds that Open Harbor's approach of hosting its software gives it an advantage over vendors that sell only software licenses.