With partners like Delhivery and Shadowfax, Delhi-based startup Pickrr is simplifying logistics
The logistics sector earned infrastructure status in 2017 when its market size was estimated at $160 billion. According to IBEF, the Indian logistics market was expected to reach $215 billion by 2020, logging a 10.5 percent CAGR over 2017.
However, the sector continues to remain highly fragmented and unorganised. This is despite the presence of several logistics startups that are leveraging technology to organise and automate infrastructure. While bigger players continue to compete for market share, Delhi-basedis on a mission to simplify the logistics sector, making it faster and hassle-free.
Founded by IIT graduates Rhitiman Majumdar, Gaurav Mangla, and Ankit Kaushik in August 2015, Pickrr aggregates various logistics players in the country, delivering to more than 26,000 pincodes and adding more every day.
The eureka moment
Rhitiman, an alumnus of ISB and NIT-Allahabad previously worked as the Senior Associate at consulting firm iRunway. At iRunaway, he met and worked with Gaurav, an IIT-Guwahati alumnus and Ankit Kaushik from IIT-Kanpur. Later, Gaurav and Ankit started hiring and assessment portal Optimizedbits. OptimizedBits was later acquired by Delhi-based online talent requirement marketplace Talentpad in 2015.
The three got together to discuss the lack of transparency and varying prices that courier companies charged for the same orders. Initially investing Rs 3 lakh from their own savings, the team started operations with the C2C model. They raised an undisclosed amount as seed funding from HNIs in 2015.
However, Rhitiman recalls how Pickrr almost exhausted all its seed funding and failed to turn a profit despite spending countless hours at work. The team then went back to square one with Gaurav running his 36-hour coding marathons, Ankit charting operational requirements, and Rhitiman looking to start sales even before launching the new product.
“Gaurav was confident that a lot of the issues could be solved with an aggregation-based product, bringing different courier partners on the same platform. We started with a C2C operations-heavy model and soon shifted to a B2B tech-heavy model,” says Co-founder and CEO Rhitiman.
Two months down the lane, the team had on-boarded partners like Snapdeal.
What Pickrr does
Pickrr uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), specialising in air express, surface express, fulfilment and warehousing, and reverse logistics. The logistics startup has partnered with ecommerce sellers, marketplaces, social media sellers, B2B sellers, offline retailers, and with distributors requiring inter-warehouse transportation services.
Some of Pickrr’s clients include Bosch Household Appliances, Snapdeal, DenSnapdeal, 1mg, Bombay Shaving Company, Shopify, and Archies, among others. On the logistics side, it has partnered with Delhivery, Xpressbees, BlueDart, DTDC, Ecom Express, FedEx, and Shadowfax, among others.
Pickkr features next-day delivery, hyperlocal delivery, bulk and full truck-load transportation facilities.
Currently, the logistics startup processes more than 50,000 orders per day; they are managed by a team of 24 employees. “We have kept the team light because of our high dependency on tech. Our competitors have 10x the number of employees,” Rhitiman says.
In FY20, Pickrr’s revenue stood at Rs 34 crore. “Despite the pandemic we are still in line to beat 2019 numbers and track positive growth in 2021,” he adds.
How does it work?
Other Indian logistics players aggregating and focusing on organising the market include Shiprocket, Vamaship, Shipyaari, and Shipdesk, among others.
However, Pickrr says its USP is its technology product Calcula, which provides smart courier recommendations to the sellers. The ML-based algorithm ensures that each order is assigned to the best courier partner.
Pickrr acts as a virtual courier partner for its seller. When an order is placed on the seller’s website, its system selects the best courier partner for that order and places the order through that partner.
The courier partner then takes care of the first and last-mile operations, with full transparency on Pickrr’s platform. This provides order management, order-tracking, and report generation on multiple parameters, helping sellers consolidate all invoices and remittances independent of the end courier partner used.
Pickrr offers consolidated logistics services to its clients. Its SaaS product offers a logistics analytics dashboard, NDR (non-delivery report) management tool, real-time tracking tool, seamless integration along with channel partners, Calcula, and consolidated invoicing services. It provides future cash flow visibility and 10-plus multi-dimensional reporting (time zone-wise, courier-wise, product-wise performance reports).
The startup also provides logistics consulting services and single-point POCs to solve issues in real-time.
The SaaS product and the consulting services are free of cost, “We charge sellers on a per-order basis, independent of the courier partner used,” Rhitiman says. Partners are not charged subscription fees.
Surviving the pandemic
Almost 70 percent of Pickrr’s business is dependent on apparel and electronics - categories that were most hit by the coronavirus pandemic. While things started looking up after May 4, deliveries were still restricted to the orange and green zones.
It was during this time that Pickrr strategically moved its focus to essential categories like food, Ayurveda, and medicines to meet its pre-lockdown numbers.
“We have seen a 10x increase in the number of edible or food categories, 6x in Ayurveda-related products and a 5X increase in medicine and wellness products that are being dispatched through us,” Rhitiman says. The logistics startup also introduced contact-less and hyperlocal deliveries, and is now delivering both essential and non-essentials.
Pickrr raised its Pre-Series A round from Hong Kong-based VC firm Swastika and other HNI investors in 2016. It is now looking for strategic investments to add more service offerings and expand inorganically.
“We have been actively looking at warehousing as the next avenue. Our future plan is to grow aggressively in terms of revenue,” Rhitiman says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)