Bengaluru-based startup handles ecommerce operations of big brands by using Rubicon, its proprietary tech platform, to integrate online and offline retail channels. Set up in 2013, Ace Turtle aims to achieve break-even in the next two years.
Offline or online? The need to increase sales and deliver comprehensive customer experiences has led many offline and online retailers to eye an omni-channel strategy. The cross-channel business model helps companies improve their customer experience, which is why offline retail players are looking at online options and e-commerce players are trying to build an offline presence.
No wonder a handful of startups are gearing up to empower retailers with tailor-made omni-channel technology solutions. Omni-channel specialist Ace Turtle claims that its USP lies in the way the firm drives commerce for clients across various channels.
Nitin Chhabra, Founder of Ace Turtle, says:
“We haven’t come across a company offering an integrated service like us, one that targets enterprise clients. No one is anywhere close to the implementation capabilities we have.”
Nitin, who is a commerce graduate from University of Delhi, did his MBA from Apeejay School of Management. Along with Berry Singh, he started Ace Turtle towards the end of 2013. Having worked with companies like Reliance Brands and Reid & Taylor, the duo was exposed to the challenges CXOs face in the retail ecosystem.
Meetings between Nitin and Berry often led to discussions about how they could build a business that would provide a comprehensive solution to brands, in terms of reaching out to customers through multiple touch points.
With e-commerce starting to gain more importance in the Indian market, bridging the online-offline gap was one of the priorities on their list.
Bengaluru-based Ace Turtle raised $30,000 as seed capital and got down to work. The mission: Help reduce costs and complexity of omni-channel transformation for enterprise retail clients by using existing frameworks and systems.
The duo formulated technology that allows brands to have a single view of orders and inventory and offers easy integration of online and offline to help build efficient marketing and sales strategies.
Case in point: Puma was facing challenges because of high dependency on marketplaces, no control on pricing and absence of a unified brand image. Ace Turtle helped Puma build a single view of inventory through Rubicon. Now, Puma has a better delivery time – it’s down to one day – and has lowered the cost of delivery to 7 percent from 11 percent. More importantly, it also improved sales as the inventory was optimised and exposed to all digital channels.
Ace Turtle’s proprietary product Rubicon is a technology platform that can seamlessly integrate with sales channels (like websites, marketplaces, apps, kiosks etc.), fulfilment stock points (stores, warehouses) and the brand’s technology ecosystem to deliver an enriched single view of Order, Inventory, Price and Catalogue.
The platform correlates tons of incoming data to make real-time intelligent decisions to offer seamless omni-channel solutions.
The four core modules of Rubicon are Order Management System, Inventory Management System (IMS), Catalogue Management System (CMS) and Logistics Management System (LMS).
The Order Management System hosts a real-time engine that allocates the order to the most preferable fulfilment point by evaluating parameters like availability of inventory, proximity to customer, serviceability of logistics, SLA adherence, etc. If the order is not processed in a specified time-frame (configurable), the system automatically de-allocates the order and allocates it to the next best stock point. The system then assigns the logistics partner with order-based parameters like cost, SLA, serviceability, and performance.
The Inventory Management System (IMS) provides a single-view inventory to manage and publish inventory across all channels. The system publishes and updates inventory for each sale from any channel to keep other channels in sync in real time.
The Catalogue Management System (CMS) enables users to create catalogues for products to be sold across channels and helps in managing digital assets like product images, videos, 360-degree product videos and so on.
The Logistics Management System (LMS) hosts a pre-integrated ecosystem of various last-mile logistics partners. The system provides end-to-end tracking of the order, from allocation to customer delivery through real-time status exchanges.
Ace Turtle has grown its team to more than 100 employees and is looking to double the strength by the next fiscal year. The company makes money by charging brands a monthly subscription fee and gets a small revenue share from the business they generate.
The founders claim Ace Turtle is growing by 25 percent month on month and aims to achieve break-even in another two years. The company recently got Series A funding from Singapore-based Vertex Ventures and C31 Ventures (the venture capital arm of CapitaLand).
Ace Turtle has 20 large brands on its client list, including Ray-Ban, Puma, Arrow, Flying Machine and Fossil, but business was largely built on referrals till now.
Nitin says with investment coming, the firm is “now building a business development team including an inside sales team”.
As a part of global expansion plans, the company aims to expand its footprint in Singapore and Malaysia by the end of this year.
The retail industry in India is expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2020, according to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation. The online retail market is expected to grow to $70 billion during FY15-FY20.
There are others who are working towards integrating omni-channel technologies with retailers, including E-bee, Fulfil.io and Mobmerry. But Ace Turtle continues to go full steam ahead, banking on its ace in the hole: Rubicon.
Website: Ace Turtle