Locus, a startup that uses AI to help businesses map their logistics, said on Wednesday it had raised $ 50 million in a new round of funding as it sought to expand its presence.
The new round, a Series C, was led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. Qualcomm Ventures and existing investors Tiger Global Management and Falcon Edge also participated in the round, bringing the startup’s raise to date to $ 79 million. The new round valued the India-founded startup at around $ 300 million, a person familiar with the matter said.
Angel investors Amrish Rau (CEO of Pine Labs), Kunal Shah (CEO of CRED), Raju Reddy (founder of Sierra Atlantic) and Deb Deep Sengupta (former president and CEO of SAP in South Asia) also participated in the round. .
Locus helps clients automate their logistics workload – tasks such as planning, organizing, transporting and tracking inventory, and finding the best path to reach a destination – which have traditionally required intensive human labor. , said Nishith Rastogi, CEO of Locus, in an interview with TechCrunch.
“When you order from Licious or BigBasket, for example, they have to decide every day in their centers how many vehicles they should use and what size vehicles they should use,” Rastogi explained. These customers, he said, must also assign drivers based on their familiarity with the delivery area and factor in traffic to determine what time they should leave for delivery.
“We help our clients go beyond visibility into all of this decision making,” he said, adding that the startup uses proprietary algorithms and deep machine learning.
The startup – which operates in North America, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Indian subcontinent – claims to have helped its customers save more than $ 150 million in logistics costs and save tens of millions kilometers of their journey that they would have traveled otherwise. .
Rastogi said the vast majority of the startup’s revenue today comes from international markets, particularly North America. The startup said its platform is particularly popular among consumer, retail and e-commerce companies, as well as those in need of channel partners.
Locus falls into categories where the cost of logistics is a large part of the cost of goods sold and the profit margin is slim, he said. “In many distribution or e-commerce companies, the cost of logistics can represent 40% of the good sold. It inspires our customers to make changes, ”he said, adding that brands around the world are increasingly starting to explore ways to optimize their supply chain networks.
“Locus’ smart product suite optimizes supply chain efficiency by using machine learning to provide real-time tracking and last mile execution insights,” said Varsha Tagare, Senior Director of Qualcomm Technologies and chief executive officer of Qualcomm Ventures, in a statement. . “We are delighted to invest in Locus to enable Logistics as a Service and support their journey to become a global leader in last mile automation. “
Rastogi called the new funding “insurance money” because he said the startup was already generating enough cash, but said the additional capital would help the startup with its research. expand into other markets and also expand its technological team.