From Safety To Logistics, Locus Says It Like It Is
In December 2014, was the infamous Delhi Uber incident. And my cofounder and I decided to do something about the situation. We were pleasantly surprised when food tech companies started using the app too.
Photo Credit : https://start-guru.in/,
Locus.sh was founded in May 2015 by Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg, graduates from BITS Pilani and IIT respectively. Before starting up, they both worked together at Amazon.
Nishith tells us their story.
Tell us a bit about background to Locus. It started as a safety app?
In December 2014, was the infamous Delhi Uber incident. In a world that seemed a little unsafer my sister had come to Bengaluru and was traveling back home from the airport at night. That triggered the most irrational fear in me.
And my cofounder and I decided to do something about the situation. We developed RideSafe, a real-time route deviation detection mobile application for women safety.
It was completely unexpected, but yes we were pleasantly surprised when food tech companies started adopting RideSafe to monitor the movement of their delivery staff. We realized that the programming used in RideSafe wasn’t just meant for a safety app but could be revolutionary even in the logistics industry.
And so Locus, a logistics automation startup was born.
Explain Locus to a non techie in 60 seconds
Locus is an intelligent automation platform, which enables the movement of a product/ person from Point A to Point B with minimal human intervention.
Locus makes sure the movement happens within budget and on-time taking into consideration numerous depots, vehicles, and customers.
To give you a simple example, if you have a 1000 tasks to be completed and 20 vehicles to do these tasks, Locus' route planning and optimization will provide you with the best route that can be taken by each vehicle to complete the tasks and will also minimize the number of vehicles used to complete them.
Was that under 60 seconds?
Launch date, investment received from whom, profits and customer growth
Locus was launched in mid July of 2015, until which we were working in stealth mode. Since then we have been growing at 40 percent month on month.
We initially raised a round of seed fund, then raised 2.75 million dollars in Series A led by Exfinity Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, BeeNext and Rajesh Ranavat, MD of Li & Fung Capital along with existing seed investors who also participated in the round.
Some of our advisors and board members include:
1. Balakrishnan – Former CFO of Infosys; founder, partner, and chairman of Exfinity Venture Partners LLP
2. Rajesh Ranavat - Managing director, Li & Fung, Europe
3. Amit Ranjan - Founder of SlideShare.com
4. Sheetal Bahl - MD & CEO of growX Ventures
5. Manish Singhal - Founding partner of pi Ventures
6. Sanjay Nath - Cofounder & managing partner, Blume Venture Advisors
How much savings do you give to industries?
Some of the quantified gains we have achieved for our customers are:
1. Furniture delivery - 25 percent increase in efficiency and productivity gains
2. C2C Deliveries – 100 percent jump in number of orders per vehicle for intra-city C2C deliveries
3. Food tech and laundry – 75 percent increase in orders per delivery boy
4. Food tech companies – 8 percent more customers serviced within SLAs in food-tech companies
5. Grocery companies – 15 percent increase in efficiency in grocery companies
6. Healthcare sector – 25 percent reduction in fuel costs in healthcare companies.
Why did Locus win a global TiE Lumis excellence award in 2016?
The vision of the TiE awards was to recognise outstanding young companies that have the potential to transform into world leading organizations in the near future.
The idea was to create a platform that will seek to promote such companies by combining TiE network and mentoring support with Lumis Partners' acumen in providing access to funding and board level coaching. TiE's panel saw Locus as an innovative, sustainable and high potential company.
The other notable winners were: Gaurav Agarwal from 1mg Technologies and Rohit Asil from Fracktal Works.
Is there any more innovation left to do in logistics?
You’ll be surprised.
Recently, Locus launched a new product called 3D packing, a program that will tell you how to load your cargo, so you can fit more of it into a container.
In India, the freight industry is estimated at 100 billion dollars and contributes to 6 percent of the GDP. A bulk of this is inter-city logistics, we are trying our darndest to build our platform to organize this sector and make it live up to its potential.
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