On Monday, Bengaluru-based logistics management platform, Locus.sh announced $2.75 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Exfinity Venture Partners with participation from Blume Ventures, BeeNext, Rajesh Ranavat, MD, Fung Capital and other existing investors. The funds will be used for talent acquisition as well as technology expansion.
The company had earlier raised an angel round led by growX ventures and Manish Singhal in July 2015. Bhupen Shah, Sanjay Mehta, and Ankit Pruthi also participated in this round.
Locus.sh was founded in May 2015 by Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg, graduates from BITS Pilani and IIT respectively. Before starting up, they both worked on machine learning technologies at Amazon. Locus.sh helps enterprises to manage their deliveries through technology, including features like automated smart dispatches, tracking, fleet visualization views, and proprietary route deviation engine.
Company's clientele is in sectors like courier deliveries, e-commerce, food delivery and FMCG. Locus.sh enables customers to either - build their logistics tracking, through integrating their (Locus.sh’s) cluster of APIs or customize existing systems for large clients.
According to co-founder and CEO, Nishith Rastogi, there are 25 clients using the platform at present owning a scale of 10,000 to 100,000 transactions daily. Some of them include Delhivery, Urban Ladder, FreshMenu and Lenskart in the Indian markets. Out of the existing 25, four to five of the clients are international.
Commenting about the sector, Nishith says
We believe that the supply chain, delivery and logistics are key to competitive advantage for enterprises. Moving forward our focus will be to crack this market further and create high-end algorithms & systems to take care of this problem so businesses can focus on offering their customers a delightful experience.
Working on a pay per transaction model with no overhead costs, the platform charges anywhere between rupees one to ten per transaction, depending on the scale and complexity of the delivery. While adopting a pay-as-you-go model, the firm also allows customers to subscribe to some value added features on the go.
Ex-CFO of Infosys and Chairman of Exfinity Venture Partners, Balakrishnan V, has also joined the Locus.sh board through this investment. He believes that the interplay of infrastructure, technology and new types of service providers in the Indian logistics space will define whether the industry is able to help its customers reduce their costs while providing effective services. He says,
This provides an opportunity to solve these problems in a fundamentally different way using algorithms with greater opportunity for optimization. The Locus solution is built by factoring real world fuzziness to support iffy networks, inaccurate addresses and hundreds of other exception scenarios. It can also club orders in real-time re-routing to maximize throughput. This makes us excited about this investment.
Over the past few month, the Bengaluru-based firm has been working to sharpen its ‘anomaly detection feature’ for logistics orders. This is further coupled with prediction and analytics to help customers make smarter and informed decisions.
In the next six months, the founders look forward to make their foray into the hardware market, by building small plugs as their proprietary custom hardware. This is to remove any glitches from the process of delivery. Locu.sh aims to build hardware oriented technologies which automate the complete lifecycle of logistics without any errors. The firm is also looking to add 10 new members to beef up their product, engineering and technology teams.
According to a study named ‘Logistics Market in India 2015-2020’ by market researcher Novonous, the country’s logistics industry is worth $300 billion. The report further predicts this number to grow at a CAGR of 12.17 per cent by 2020.
For industries heavily dependent on logistics, innovation will be a key, with demands to reach farther and faster at low costs. This has caused bigger players in e-commerce to invest heavily in logistics and automation in 2015.
Last year, Flipkart partnered with MapMyIndia, Blackbuck and Qikpod for their logistics services; Snapdeal invested $20 million in logistics player GoJavas, while Paytm invested $10 million in Loginext.
With Flipkart announcing to invest $2.5 billion on logistics needs over the next four to five years, and Snapdeal battling to reduce delivery time by 70 per cent through more acquisitions, logistics will continue to be one of the hottest sectors to watch out for in 2016.