With the Indian logistics industry expected to touch $215 billion by 2020, according to Indian Brand Equity Foundation data, the scope for logistics-tech is huge. According to media reports, there are more than 1,006 logistics tech startups in India, each raising their stack in logistics technology.
In addition, India can save over $50 billion if the industry is able to capitalise on this nascent sector. Essentially, pick up and drop tech can be the answer to Indian woes. Be it that forgotten set of keys or lunch box delivered from home to office or sending documents or cheques, or simply returning a shirt borrowed from a friend, getting the logistics right can save, time and more importantly money.
The potential of the industry, especially for small, big and medium companies is huge. Focusing on AI and bringing you a “gofer” that can do all your errands for you, here are five startups that are transforming the ordinary pickup and drop routine, and solving the logistics puzzle beautifully:
The latest entrant is food-tech unicorn Swiggy, which launched Swiggy Go and Swiggy Store last month. Swiggy Stores aim to provide free delivery services of household items like groceries ordered from stores within six km, while Swiggy Go is akin to Dunzo, that delivers parcels from one place to another.
At the launch of Swiggy Go and the phased expansion of Swiggy Stores, Sriharsha Majety, CEO, Swiggy, said that Swiggy’s vision is to elevate the quality of life of urban consumers by offering unparalleled convenience.
“Bangalore will be the first city in the country to experience Swiggy do the last-mile delivery for everything, not just food. By 2020, we will expand Swiggy Go to over 300 cities and Swiggy Stores to all the major metros, ushering in a new era of convenience for consumers across India,” Sriharsha says.
Bengaluru-based Dunzo, the key player in the hyperlocal delivery space, which started as a personal task management platform in the Garden City on WhatsApp, is now a full-fledged automated, app-based service running across four other cities - Gurugram, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune. Dunzo also launched its B2B delivery services.
At present, it clocks two million orders a month across six cities, developing an almost cult-like following. Dunzo is backed by Google, which led a Rs 80 crore Series B funding round in December 2017 along with Blume Ventures and Aspada Investment Advisors.
In February this year, the hyperlocal app Dunzo had raised a funding of Rs 3 crore from Deep Kalra founder MakeMyTrip, and also raised about Rs 34.5 crore debt from Alteria Capital in July.
Amidst the industry biggies like Dunzo and Swiggy, there is Delhi-based Jhutpat which offers instant pick-up and delivery across Delhi-NCR for small and medium businesses that need anywhere between five and 100 deliveries a day. It’s enterprising entrepreneurs, the Delhi-based Tanmaay Khurana, 17, and Lakshay Chhabra, 18, wanted more out of their careers than just admission at a good college.
The duo decided to start the delivery platform, Jhutpat, last year as a project for a competition by a team of eight school students. Tanmaay and Lakshay, two of the team members then decided to continue running the startup as a pilot. They launched it officially in January 2019 after raising seed capital of Rs 2 lakh from friends and family.
Tanmaay says one of Jhutpat’s key differentiators is that it operates completely via WhatsApp right now, which is more convenient for customers, especially those using the startup’s services to replace their existing delivery staff. Interestingly, companies like Dunzo are not seen as a threat by the teen founders. Lakshay says Jhutpat is not competing with Dunzo as their operating model sets them apart.
“We are not visible on the end consumer side. Companies use our services by white-labelling us as their in-house staff. We only execute ‘instant delivery' orders clients receive through their website and other channels,” he says.
The company’s revenue model is based on kilometres; they earn a specific (undisclosed) amount from clients per kilometre. The startup has completed more than 1,800 orders to date, and claims to have an overall profit margin of 55 percent.
The bootstrapped startup also wants to roll out the end-consumer version and app for its service. Jhutpat aims to expand to other cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru soon, and is eyeing funding of Rs 20 lakh from external investors.
“Even though we are B2B right now, we ultimately aim to build an infrastructure for a private concierge service for end users,” Tanmaay says.
The Delhi-NCR focused startup Meretask offers pickup and drop services to individuals and corporates for charges based on the kilometre run. After working in the financial market for 12 years, Piyush Tandon and Deepak Batra were bitten by the entrepreneurship bug.
With stints in companies like Indiabulls and HDFC Securities, the two friends in their late 30s decided to dabble in technology and take a shot at solving a real Indian problem - to deliver small items on the same day in a city.
Meratask, a runner service, allows the customer to order deliveries through an app. The Delhi-based startup focuses on delivering items such as gifts, documents, and specialises in delivering on the same day. YourStory’s call to this startup saw the founders deep in the business end of things, and doing well.
Beyond metro cities, Chandigarh-based Jugnoo is catering to the logistics’ needs of Tier II and Tier III cities. Originally started as an auto-rickshaw aggregator in November 2014 by Samar Singla and Chinmay Aggarwal, Jugnoo has been diversifying its business into various industry verticals including logistics and last-mile deliveries.
Jugnoo has ventured into different verticals of on-demand and hyperlocal spaces in the B2B & B2C domains, with its services like Rides, Fatafat, Meals, Menus, Ask local and Jugnoo Delivery (B2B). Jugnoo’s on-demand service is currently a hyper-local B2B offering, where its logistics service enables vendors to deliver products to their customers “where, when and how” they desire, ensuring a seamless delivery experience. The startup is backed by Paytm and Snow Leopard Technology Ventures.
(Edited by Suruchi Kapur- Gomes)