[Funding alert] Deeptech startup Dista raises $1.2M; aims to democratise location intelligence for enterprises

Deeptech startup Dista has a strong base of over 50 enterprise customers and aims to increase the number of clients and experiences delivered by 3X and expand in new geographies.
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Dista, a Pune and Delaware (US) based deeptech startup, has announced to have raised $1.2 million. The seed funding round was led by Pentathlon Ventures in participation with Core 91 and other individual investors.

“At Pentathlon Ventures, we believe Dista is uniquely positioned to leverage its location intelligence platform to optimize field operations. This aligns with our fund's core philosophy of backing passionate entrepreneurs who have built disruptive digital solutions for the global market from India,” said Shashank Deshpande, Managing Partner, Pentathlon Ventures.

Incubated in 2017 and registered as an independent entity on October 17, 2020, Dista is co-founded by Nishant Kumar (Co-founder & Chief Product Officer); Shishir Gokhale (Co-founder & CEO); and Deepak Garg (Co-founder & CTO).

An AI-enabled location intelligence platform, Dista is on a mission to democratise location intelligence for enterprises. Solutions engineered on Dista’s no-code/low-code customisations aim to offer tailored SaaS experiences to customers.

Dista has helped global businesses achieve quicker TATs, higher conversion and engagement rates, and enhanced customer experience. With a young and dynamic team of 80 with an average age of 30, Dista claims to have achieved a strong base of over 50 enterprise customers in less than a year. It now aims to increase the number of clients and experiences delivered by 3X and expand in new geographies.

“We will use the funds to achieve scale-market expansion, brand building, and strengthen our product lines by focusing on R&D and advanced user experience to further amplify the value delivered to our customers and end-users,” shared Shishir in an exclusive interview with YourStory.

How it works?

Dista is basically a platform that offers cloud-based field service management, mobile workforce management, shared mobility (ride-hailing), first and last-mile delivery management to businesses. 

Powered by Google Maps and Google Cloud, it leverages a series of APIs such as locators, grid definition & management, cockpit & dashboards, scheduling algorithms, route optimizer, asset tracking, and others to boost operational efficiency of businesses.

For instance, in the case of mobile kitchens, the food is prepared on the go and gets ready when it reaches the customer’s location. Dista helps by setting up a system that seamlessly assigns orders to the correct mobile kitchen. It leverages AI to decide if the order for the given time slot can be accepted, following which it auto allocates incoming orders in real-time by considering critical factors like proximity, availability, and priority. 

“We also offer real-time tracking of orders in transit and notifications with a live ETA to customers. In addition, the solution is equipped with a route optimisation feature that provides the quickest and shortest route for optimum deliveries. We customised our delivery management software to offer specific solutions crucial to cater to a company’s unique business model,” he explained.

The company charges fees on the basis of jobs completed or users using the Dista system. From the data security point of view, Shishir explained that they do have to take care of data security and data storage issues and it’s essentially not in terms of customer data always.

"There are a host of security protocols in place, and apart from Google, we have many of our own internal security protocols in place. So, all of the data that is with Dista is entirely protected and confidential," he adds.

Challenges, competition, and plans ahead

Shishir accepts that the road ahead is challenging yet exciting as more and more enterprises are becoming location-aware, and the need to apply location intelligence to every dimension of business decisioning is becoming imperative. 

“Location can play an important role in increasing productivity, not just that but in terms of business revenue and expansion. We will need to match this demand with tremendous scale, bringing in affordability,” he adds. 

In terms of competition, he believes that Dista’s USP is converting location data into intelligence, applying them to solve real-world problems for businesses and achieving this rapidly, keeping it unique to every customer.

“Our consolidated platform negates the need to subscribe to a bouquet of products such as SalesForce, ServiceMax, FourKites, and Carto, to name a few,” he adds.

The Dista platform has applicability across all industries. However, their priority industries are BFSI, delivery services, logistics, and supply chain, healthcare and pharma, and manufacturing globally. The team further plans to externalise the platform such that system integrators can extend for their own customer requirements.

“Our core platform gives us the launchpad to solve new and rapidly changing location data-driven solutions. The Pentathlon team, being entrepreneurs, are founder-friendly and acutely understand the challenges that we face in our scaling journey. We look forward to their advice and support in establishing ourselves as the de facto Location Intelligence Platform,” he concludes.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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