This fleet management startup uses AI, ML, and IoT to provide full-stack solutions in 50 countries

Founded in 2016 by Shridhar Gupta and Vidit Jain, full-stack fleet management startup LocoNav integrates over 2,200 devices around the world and is operational in more than 50 countries.
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Developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America are said to be home to more than 250 million on-road commercial vehicles, growing at 10 percent year on year. Most of these vehicle owners don’t have easy, or any, access to modern technology to run their businesses efficiently. This results in losses from inefficiencies and increased operational costs for fleet owners. 

“This is where LocoNav comes in. We are introducing IoT innovations to streamline operations and drive efficiency. We are enabling the safety of the driver, vehicle, and the freight or passenger it is carrying, while also improving business efficiency for the fleet owner with the power of AI and IoTs,” says Shridhar Gupta, Co-founder, LocoNav.

“We are bringing B2B fleet management solutions to markets that are extremely price-sensitive, and have diverse realities of software usage, telecom connectivity, and access to affordable IoT devices,” he adds. 

Launched in 2016 by Shridhar and Vidit Jain, San Francisco and Gurugram-based full-stack fleet management startup LocoNav helps fleet owners run and manage their operations in a safe and efficient manner. 

It can be used for all kinds of on-road vehicles, including cars/taxis, bikes, buses, trucks, ambulances, police vans, and even construction vehicles, helping fleet owners from different industries to keep track of their vehicles and stay on top of their business. 

“We offer fleet management through the integration of different kinds of IoT sensors into the vehicle. These collect data and transfer it directly to our secure cloud servers. We use advanced AI and ML to create visibility for vehicle movement via features such as location tracing and geofencing; save operational costs with modules such as trip planning and management, fuel monitoring, and compliance solutions such as Fastag; and significantly lower vehicle maintenance costs using data from on-board diagnostics sensors, and more,” Co-founder Vidit says.

As per the startup, it integrates over 2,200 devices around the world and offers real-time alerts, rich analytics, customised reports, and more, in an easy-to-use interface available in over 14 languages including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, Spanish etc. 

The key features

LocoNav aims to “”track, measure, and optimise” the entire fleet using the smarter alternative to spreadsheets and the pen-and-paper option. 

The tech startup provides solutions for multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, food and beverages, healthcare, oil and gas, construction, passenger and transit, safety, security, and more. 

The startup offers 12 key features under the fleet management solution offering: vehicle tracking, vehicle management, trip management, expense management, document management, driver management, reports and analytics, maintenance, geofence, fuel monitoring, vehicle safety, and compliance and payments. It also offers a unique double deduction algorithm that helps in efficient expense management for LocoNav FASTag usage.

The video safety solutions are powered by AI for the next level in on-road safety with real-time alerts, stored incident footage, and in-cab audio alerts. These help detect risks, prevent accidents, and protect drivers and businesses. 

“LocoNav’s video safety solutions offer Liability Risk Prevention using stored incident footage, Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), and Driver Management System (DMS). These solutions give the customer a one-stop offering to lower operational costs, prevent and protect against false claims, and ensure safety for drivers, vehicles, freight/passengers, and the business,” Shridhar says.

“Globally we are present in over 50 countries across the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Oceania, CIS and Latin America. In India too, we are available in every pin code. We have served over five million vehicles with our products and services, and have more than 90,000 customers worldwide,” he states.

The USP

Vidit says  the fleet tech industry has some established players globally, but LocoNav has worked hard to build the category in developing and emerging markets. 

“In India, we are the largest fleet tech company and growing at an exponential pace. Our platform is designed keeping concerns of fleet owners and operators in mind. Our product architecture solves for issues faced by industries rather than simply stacking solutions and letting the customer work their way around them,” he says.

“Our easy-to-use and one-stop platform, coupled with analytics, forms the core of our differentiated offering. We ensure that the platform is easily accessible to every kind of fleet owner and operator because we have made the interface intuitive. There are more icons and fewer words; the text is multilingual and works on both mobile and web,” Shridhar says.

Prior to co-founding LocoNav, Shridhar led sales and partnership at ClearTax, a Y-Combinator product, backed by SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital. He was also on the founding team of Fitho, a fitness tech platform (acquired by Practo) along with being the Co-founder and Business Head of the healthcare division at DNG Enterprises.

Vidit was Founding Engineer at Bizzy (acquired by SendGrid), an omnichannel marketing engine for businesses. He worked closely with the founders on every aspect of the company and built the entire backend framework for Bizzy. He also held the Lead Engineer position at ClearTax

“We were colleagues at ClearTax, which is where we met and realised we shared a passion for building accessible, global, and scalable solutions powered by cutting-edge technology and set out on the journey to build LocoNav,” Shridhar says. 

“Currently, we are 500+ ‘Navigators’ and growing around the world,” Vidit adds.

Funding and monetisation

LovoNav claims to have seen a strong growth trajectory since the company’s inception. “Even in the midst of the pandemic, we were EBITDA positive,” Shridhar says.

In June 2021, the startup raised $37 million in a Series B round from Quiet Capital, Anthemis Group, Sequoia Capital India, Foundamental, RIT Capital Partners, Uncorrelated Ventures, Village Global, and other leading investors. 

It had previously secured $10 million in prior rounds led by Sequoia Capital India and Foundamental.

As a SaaS startup, its monetisation is driven through subscription-based solutions that combine its software with connected devices. 

 “Our reach in the Indian and international markets is brought into effect through our partner network. We have partnerships that are helping build and grow the LocoNav ecosystem worldwide,” Shridhar says.

The way ahead

When combined for all vehicle types - light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle, trains, watercraft, and aircraft - the global fleet management market size, as per Allied Market Research, is projected to reach $52.50 billion by 2030. 

“We are on a mission to democratise access to fleet tech across the world, and our plans are aligned with this,” Vidit says.

“Players in this market have started offering sophisticated tech to drivers and fleet owners. However, no one spans the 50+ markets as we do. Each market may have several local/regional players offering some form of fleet tracking, but none have the width or depth of the end-to-end solutions that we offer,” Vidit asserts.

In India, LocoNav faces competition from players like Fleetx and Freight Tiger among others. But the founders are confident. 

“We are strengthening our tech muscle by building technology and data science teams across San Francisco, Gurgaon, and Bengaluru,” Shridhar says.

“From a growth and reach perspective, our aim is to build a strong network of partners globally and invest in strategic acquisitions so as to serve the various geographies we are present in.”

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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