While many companies have had to suffer a setback due to the COVID pandemic, the period has also seen India’s startup culture flourish like never before, especially for those companies that having dealings in online services or e-commerce, as people took to deliveries and remote shopping to fulfil their needs.
One such startup has been Locad, a logistics and supply chain management integrator, which has just raised a sum of $4.9 million as a seed fund, in a round led by investment giant Sequoia Capital India’s Surge. Other investors which participated in the fundraiser included Foxmont, Gokongwei Family, Global Founders Capital, Febe Ventures, Hustle Fund, and Antler.
The firm collaborates with retailers and brands involved in e-commerce, providing them with complete end-to-end solutions. These include fully functional plug-and-play services, as well as a solid warehousing network for international scale-up.
Priding itself in being a one-step solution for all e-commerce companies, Locad brings with itself different sets of packages to suit the needs of businesses in different phases of their life cycle. Startups are provided with professional support for their e-commerce requirements, starting from 10 orders a day, while the so-called “Grown Ups” are granted access to multi-channel options, and that too, with a flexible capacity.
Scale-ups are not left behind either, and a global network has been set up to help them streamline and optimize their supply chain design, for a better customer experience. Order shipping is achieved in 24 hours flat, and delivery time is reduced significantly, thanks to locally available warehouses.
The company was founded less than an year ago, in October 2020, by a group of three people, namely, Constantin Robertz, Jannis Dargel, and Shrey Jain, at Manila, Singapore. All three of them had had the experience of working at high profile positions at Grab and Zalora, two South Asian startups, and Robertz now serves as the CEO at Locad. Offices are spread across Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Australia, and the Philippines, with a warehouse network that spans the Asia Pacific region.
Releasing a statement to announce the deal with Surge, the company said,
“Business customers of Locad have the opportunity to integrate with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Shopee, Lazada and Zalora. Brands can manage all their orders and stock from a single virtual pool across multiple sales channels, with real-time visibility of sales, orders, inventory, and service levels.”
The firm is now looking to extend its services to reach a wider client population, even as it faces competition from Indian contemporaries Delhivery, Shadowfax, Kale Logistics, and Rivigo. Plans to widen the scope of offerings in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) market have been announced.
Constantin Robertz expressed excitement over the funding, saying, “At the heart of our mission is the desire to level the playing field in direct-to-consumer commerce by giving brands small and large access to an integrated, distributed and flexible supply chain network that is simple yet scalable.”
He added, “In an industry where reliability and speed could make or break an e-commerce brand, our ability to provide a one-stop platform, from fulfilment capability to distributed warehousing, allows brands to meet the evolving needs of their customers with flexible, nimble and pain-free logistics solutions.”
Despite having its headquarters in Manila, Locad has the major bulk of its developers located in India. As such, Shrey Jain, who now serves as the CTO at the firm, also expressed his views regarding the funding, saying, “Bangalore is our Engineering HQ, the heart of our platform is developed here, and we are set on hiring the best and brightest tech talent to drive our expansion goals across the region.” With this, he might as well be hinting towards plans to increase recruitment in the country.