[The F Word] Logistics platform Locus raises $4 m pre-Series B funding


Bengaluru-based logistics platform Locus has raised $4 million in a pre-Series B round. The funding round was led by Rocketship.vc, pi Ventures, Recruit Strategic Partners and Hemendra Kothari of the DSP Group. Existing investors Exfinity Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, BeeNext and growX Ventures also participated in the round. 

With this fundraise, Locus will focus on building its intellectual property, and on global expansion. Co-founder and CEO Nishith Rastogi said the team will further focus on building its IP to solve complex real-world logistics problems globally to increase productivity and profitability of enterprises

Started in May 2015 by BITS Pilani alumni and ex-Amazon colleagues Nishith and Geet Garg, Locus has evolved into a B2B enterprise platform. Nishith says the company wants to reduce the element of human decision making in the moving of a package from point A to point B. 

Locus optimises logistics operations for enterprises across sectors to improve efficiencies, resulting in higher profitability. It is a decision-making engine that uses deep learning and proprietary algorithms to provide intelligent route optimisation, real-time tracking, insights and analytics, fleet optimisation, efficient warehouse management, vehicle allocation and utilisation, intuitive 3D packing, and measurement of packages.

(L-R) Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg

As of May 2016, the team claimed to have 25 clients using the platform, running through anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 transactions a day. Urban Ladder, Quikr and Lenskart are among the company’s Indian clients.

Sailesh Ramakrishnan, Partner, Rocketship.vc, in a press release, said, “Locus is in the forefront of a new wave of technology companies that are disrupting traditional fields like logistics and optimisation through the use of cutting-edge artificial intelligence techniques”.

Locus has automated logistics for leading companies worldwide like Urban Ladder, Tata Group of Companies, Droplet, Licious, Rollick, Lenskart, other global FMCG, pharma, e-commerce, 3PL, and logistics conglomerates. Locus currently works with clients in India, Singapore, Jakarta, Phoenix, and Vancouver.

Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures, commented, "Logistics accounts for 10 percent of world GDP and is a direct contributor to inflation. Fortunately, with increasing data availability on operations, it is now more possible than ever before to use technology for impactful logistics optimisation. Locus' sophisticated AI engine has delivered 10 to 15 percent cost reduction in real-world scenarios across the globe.”

The company has assembled a strong team of engineers, scientists from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), with sales led by a seed round investor and a multifaceted deployment team with extensive operational execution experience.

Veteran investment banker Hemendra Kothari of DSP Group, said, “Winning companies differentiate themselves by their efficient logistics operations. We believe that Locus’ innovative approach, with algorithms at the core, will enable companies to achieve performance enhancing logistics automation and supply chain efficiencies. We believe that Locus will make headway on a global scale in this important sector”.

For industries heavily dependent on logistics, innovation will be key, with demands to reach farther and faster at low costs. This has caused bigger players in ecommerce to invest heavily in logistics and automation in 2015.

Locus' competitiors include Rivigo, Blackbuck, Blowhorn and Wow Express, to name a few.

In 2015, Flipkart partnered with MapMyIndiaBlackbuck and Qikpod for its logistics services, Snapdeal invested $20 million in logistics player GoJavas, and Paytm invested $10 million in Loginext.


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