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Cascadia has established itself as a market leader in the Robotics, Automation & AI (RAAI) sector hosting an annual conference, publishing thoughtful research, and sponsoring events nationally.
 
The Cascadia Connect RAAI 2023 conference was one of the premier events in the sector bringing together founders and investors from all over the world.
 
PBS was on site for this year’s event interviewing participants and put together this informative video that nicely summarizes the market opportunity in RAAI—it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time if you want to get up to speed on the sector quickly.

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Cascadia has established itself as a market leader in the Robotics, Automation & AI (RAAI) sector hosting an annual conference, publishing thoughtful research, and sponsoring events nationally.
 
The Cascadia Connect RAAI 2023 conference was one of the premier events in the sector bringing together founders and investors from all over the world.
 
PBS was on site for this year’s event interviewing participants and put together this informative video that nicely summarizes the market opportunity in RAAI—it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time if you want to get up to speed on the sector quickly.

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Overview

With over 300 registered attendees, nearly 20 speakers and panelists, and hundreds of individual meetings and connections made, the 2023 Cascadia Connect Robotics, Automation and AI ("RAAI") conference in Pittsburgh was another productive conference.

The Fairmont Pittsburgh was once again the epicenter of the event which took place from May 1-3, 2023.  Please find below a brief conference recap, conference materials, and images from our welcome reception and conference activities.  Enjoy and see you next year!

Please read our full conference recap here.

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Kevin Frisch is a Managing Director at Cascadia Capital with extensive advisory and financing experience over his 25+ year investment banking career. Kevin leads both the Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace, Space & Defense Practices at Cascadia. His expertise is marrying extensive industry knowledge and experience with creative finance and advisory solutions to give clients the best range of options to pursue and then execute on their behalf.

Kevin previously founded and led the Advanced Manufacturing & Supply Chain practice at Imperial Capital for approximately a decade. Prior to this he covered Industrial Technology and Additive Manufacturing companies at FBR Capital Markets. He started his post-MBA career as a Mergers and Acquisitions specialist in Industrials at Lehman Brothers and was in that role for nearly 10 years. Prior to business school, he worked at Oppenheimer & Co. and Chase Securities.

Kevin holds a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Booth School at the University of Chicago.

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Cascadia’s industry conference series presents the 2nd annual premier event for the robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence community, including growth companies, investors, entrepreneurs, academics, and technologists.

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Firdaus Pohowalla, Cascadia Managing Director on the Robotics Sector Fundraising & Investment panel.

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Michael Orbach is an Executive Director and Senior Advisor, advising Cascadia’s bankers and their clients in the firm’s Technology and Robotics, Automation & Artificial Intelligence practices. With over 30 years of operational and transactional experience, Michael has closed more than 120 public, private and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and financings, in enterprise software, digital media, IT security, cloud computing, infrastructure software, industrial automation and technology-enabled services.

Michael led Cascadia’s Technology group as a Managing Director from April 2008 until March 2019. Before that, Michael was at Pagemill Partners, where he served as Managing Director, and prior to that, he was a founding member of ABB New Ventures Ltd, the corporate finance and venture capital group of ABB Ltd, where he was Managing Director of the ABB Industrial IT Venture Fund.

During his career as a software entrepreneur, Michael co-founded and managed Simulation Sciences from inception through its IPO; and then sold the business to Invensys plc (LSE: ISYS). He also led technology M&A for Aspen Technology (NASDAQ:AZPN) and co-founded Skyva International, which was later sold to ABB Ltd. (VIRTX: ABBN).

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and an M.B.A from the University of Washington.

Michael is an avid golfer, skier and runner, as well as a lifelong supporter of Manchester United Football Club.

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Mark is an Executive Director and Senior Advisor in Cascadia Capital’s Robotics, Automation & Artificial Intelligence practice. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University School of Engineering and Heinz College, and frequent guest lecturer at Dartmouth and Princeton. He is also the CEO of Bloomfield Robotics, an AI-driven AgTech company. Mark is a serial technology entrepreneur and has extensive operational and transactional expertise. He was previously co-founder and CEO RoadBotics, a venture-backed AI platform used for infrastructure assessment. He was co-founder and Chairman of kWantix, a quant energy hedge fund; co-founder and CEO of kWantera, a GE Ventures-backed energy trading company; CEO of Think Through Learning, a venture-backed online tutoring company; and US Managing Director of ANGLE Technology, PLC, a UK-based venture capital firm and consultancy.

Earlier in his career, Mark was the Director of Government Relations for Texas Instruments and held policy positions as a Senior Policy Analyst in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Administration of George H. W. Bush. He was also staff assistant to late U.S. Senator John Heinz and a management consultant with Booz Allen.

Mark holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

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Firdaus Pohowalla is a Managing Director at Cascadia Capital with broad advisory and financing experience. Firdaus heads Cascadia’s industrials coverage group providing strategic advice and developing tailored solutions to complex problems for clients. His expertise is in identifying solutions that pair client objectives with feasible capital markets options.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Firdaus had previously spent 17 years in New York and San Francisco with Barclays, UBS and Merrill Lynch. Earlier, Firdaus was a strategy consultant with Deloitte Consulting / Braxton Associates focused on strategic advisory for technology and telecommunications companies.

Firdaus holds a B.A. Economics (Honors) from Carleton College and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Q4-2022" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "cascadia-raai-quarterly-report-q4-2022" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2023-07-06 19:39:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-07-07 02:39:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(76) "https://www.cascadiacapital.com/news/cascadia-raai-quarterly-report-q4-2022/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "news" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [10]=> object(WP_Post)#3047 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(6200) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-11-10 21:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-11-11 04:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_title"]=> string(72) "'I Bet With My Feet': Why an Investment Bank CEO Left Seattle for Austin" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(82) "kenesha-test-i-bet-with-my-feet-why-an-investment-bank-ceo-left-seattle-for-austin" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2023-05-18 13:05:36" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-05-18 20:05:36" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(127) "https://www.cascadiacapital.com/in-the-news/kenesha-test-i-bet-with-my-feet-why-an-investment-bank-ceo-left-seattle-for-austin/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(11) "in-the-news" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#3048 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(6206) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-09-16 18:22:52" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-09-17 01:22:52" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_title"]=> string(62) "Investment Banking Shifts Create Space for Middle Market Firms" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(62) "investment-banking-shifts-create-space-for-middle-market-firms" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2023-05-18 11:38:20" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-05-18 18:38:20" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(107) "https://www.cascadiacapital.com/in-the-news/investment-banking-shifts-create-space-for-middle-market-firms/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(11) "in-the-news" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [12]=> object(WP_Post)#3049 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(6207) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-09-14 22:14:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-09-15 05:14:44" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_title"]=> string(85) "Seattle Investment Bank Cascadia Capital Lands Unique Funding Deal to Expand Services" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(85) "seattle-investment-bank-cascadia-capital-lands-unique-funding-deal-to-expand-services" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2023-05-18 13:06:29" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-05-18 20:06:29" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(130) "https://www.cascadiacapital.com/in-the-news/seattle-investment-bank-cascadia-capital-lands-unique-funding-deal-to-expand-services/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(11) "in-the-news" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [13]=> object(WP_Post)#3050 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(10840) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-07-25 18:16:06" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-07-26 01:16:06" ["post_content"]=> string(384) "

We are pleased to share the Summer 2022 Robotics, Automation and AI( “RAAI”) news report from Cascadia Capital. As the market has changed over the past six months our team has been in active dialogue with investors, business owners and other industry participants, including at our May Cascadia Connect conference in Pittsburgh.

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Overview

With over 330 registered attendees, more than 25 speakers and panelists, and hundreds of individual meetings and connections made, the 2022 Cascadia Connect Robotics, Automation and AI ("RAAI") conference in Pittsburgh was over the top!

The Fairmont Pittsburgh was the epicenter of the event which took place from May 2-4, 2022.  We were fortunate to have hosted this gathering in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, Innovation Works, and the Pittsburgh Robotics Network – all of whom have been instrumental in the region’s emergence as a hotbed of innovation to date and will continue to be key resources for the greater RAAI community.

We  named our this conference  “Connect” for a reason: to create connections among all of us in the RAAI ecosystem that would start at the Conference and endure after. Connections are what will help our ecosystem grow and evolve, and it was our goal to create an environment that would spur active dialogue and high-value networking for everyone – a goal we believe was achieved!

As can be expected from an event of this caliber, there are many takeaways. Please find below a brief conference recap, conference materials, images from our welcome reception and conference activities, and coverage of the conference by leading RAAI media outlets. Enjoy and see you next year!

Recap & Resources

Panel & Speaker Videos

https://vimeo.com/724986955
https://vimeo.com/724995450
https://vimeo.com/724999739
https://vimeo.com/725038667
https://vimeo.com/725042750
https://vimeo.com/725047685
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Cascadia Connect Robotics, Automation & AI (RAAI) wass a premier event for the robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence community, including growth companies, investors, academics, entrepreneurs, and technologists. Cascadia Capital curated a group of the industry’s best minds to gather in the nation’s emerging RAAI innovation hub—Pittsburgh—for high-impact networking and discussion. The event provided a lively, fun atmosphere—with thought-leading panels, intentional private meetings, exciting technology displays, and powerful networking opportunities.

See images from Welcome Reception at Kingfly Spirits

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We kicked off the 2022 Cascadia Connect Robotics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence conference with a bang at Kingfly Spirits a craft distillery in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.  Please enjoy these images of the lively evening.

See images from Cascadia Connect Conference at the Fairmont Pittsburgh

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Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Shipfusion, a leading provider of technology and fulfillment solutions for premium eCommerce brands, in receiving a growth equity investment from Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, a private equity fund targeting investments in emerging growth companies within the software and logistics sectors.

Cascadia strategically positioned and effectively articulated the Company’s differentiated software and fulfillment capabilities, broadly diversified enterprise client base, and scalable platform, all of which support its path to significant growth within the eCommerce fulfillment market.​​​​​​​ By highlighting Shipfusion’s custom-built, proprietary software and extensive warehouse network that provides fulfillment services to premier eCommerce brands across the U.S., Cascadia achieved an outstanding outcome for its investors, owners, and employees. Cascadia’s experience in the software, logistics, and supply chain technology sectors played a crucial role in positioning the Company in a highly competitive sector landscape.

Based in Chicago and founded in 2014, Shipfusion utilizes custom-built, proprietary software with an application programming interface, full warehouse management system and automation controls to provide superior solutions to its customers. The Company’s capabilities include complex integration, innovative picking strategies, temperature-controlled facilities, advanced reporting tools, and end-to-end lot tracking that offer market leading B2B fulfillment, inventory management and analytics, and optimized shipping rates. In addition, Shipfusion provides customers with class leading, technology enabled support services that are differentiated in the space and support its unique value proposition.

Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that specializes in growth equity investments across a broad range of industries including supply chain and logistics, media and telecom, business process automation, financial technology, healthcare, and security compliance. The firm recognized Shipfusion’s industry growth potential, differentiated software capabilities, and top-flight management team that established the Company as a great fit for its evolving technology enabled logistics thesis.

“Cascadia provided excellent strategic advice to us throughout our capital raise process. Specifically, their expertise in both technology and logistics provided the ideal perspectives to secure a strong capital transaction with a leading growth equity firm,” said Shipfusion CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Luft.

”Shipfusion sits at the intersection of eCommerce, technology enabled services and software led-fulfillment. As the supply chain evolves, both in response to today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities, the Company is ideally positioned to benefit from these tailwinds as a market leading and differentiated platform for growth. Brandon and the team have found the perfect partner in Kayne Anderson and we look forward to their accelerated progress together,” said Firdaus Pohowalla, Managing Director and Head of Supply Chain Technology at Cascadia Capital.

“As a bootstrapped business, Shipfusion has focused on developing their proprietary software and strategic warehouse network and with the capital investment is now poised to drive significant growth in the market,” added Teague Collins, Managing Director and Co-Head of Software.

The transaction represents another successful transaction for Cascadia in its market leading transportation, logistics and supply chain technology practice focused on software, automation and services. Recent transactions include StyleGenome’s acquisition by Wayfair, FragilePak’s acquisition by Greenbriar Equity, Perfect Corp.’s Series C investment from Goldman Sachs, and the sale of Cory to J.B. Hunt Transportation Services.

For more information about this transaction, please contact the Cascadia Capital deal team:

Teague Collins
Managing Director
tcollins@cascadiacapital.com
(206) 436-2576

Firdaus Pohowalla
Managing Director
fpohowalla@cascadiacapital.com
(206) 436-2578
​​​​​​

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Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ayla Networks (“Ayla” or the “Company”), a leading advanced end-to-end IoT platform that connects devices and provides unmatched analytical capabilities, in a growth equity capital raise led by Arrowroot Capital (“Arrowroot”).

Ayla is a leader in global Internet of Things (IoT) platforms that accelerate digital transformation for product manufacturers, service providers, and enterprise companies. The Company’s IoT platform fast-tracks the development, support, and ongoing enhancements of connected products and allows companies to unlock edge data generated through device operation to enhance productivity and reduce operational expenses. Offered as a managed cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Ayla is enabling some of the largest companies in the world to turn everyday home controls and appliances, commercial and gateway devices into intelligent systems that provide real-time data and drive business transformation.

The capital raised will support the Company’s ability to further deepen their offering in the consumer device market and swiftly expand their presence amongst service providers by bolstering their sales and marketing team. Additionally, Arrowroot’s investment will accelerate the Company’s deployment of their AI/ML products, particularly with service provider end users.

“We have seen substantial growth in recent years and believe that IoT is going to experience enormous expansion in the near-term,” said Jonathan Cobb, CEO of Ayla. “The opportunities that we have today are tremendous across the industries that we serve. Thanks to Cascadia Capital, we have secured a valuable partnership with Arrowroot that will provide the necessary resources to support Ayla with its strategic plan.”

Yee Lee, Senior Vice President at Cascadia Capital added, “Tailwinds in the IoT market will continue to drive the adoption of connected devices and the digital transformation across various end markets. Successful IoT companies are beginning to realize the amount of data being collected and are developing monetization strategies with use cases such as predictive maintenance, condition monitoring and optimization. Ayla has set itself apart as a leading IoT player and will continue to see accelerated deployments in its growth markets.”

For more information about this transaction, please the contact Cascadia Capital deal team:

Jamie Boyd
Managing Director
jboyd@cascadiacapital.com
(206) 436-2514

Firdaus Pohowalla
Managing Director
fpohowalla@cascadiacapital.com
(206) 436-2578

Yee Lee
Senior Vice President
ylee@cascadiacapital.com
(206) 436-2544

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Cascadia has established itself as a market leader in the Robotics, Automation & AI (RAAI) sector hosting an annual conference, publishing thoughtful research, and sponsoring events nationally.
 
The Cascadia Connect RAAI 2023 conference was one of the premier events in the sector bringing together founders and investors from all over the world.
 
PBS was on site for this year’s event interviewing participants and put together this informative video that nicely summarizes the market opportunity in RAAI—it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time if you want to get up to speed on the sector quickly.

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