Sunday 23 April 2017 News Updated at 08:04 AM IST
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Locus-ing automation in logistics - changing dynamic - Deccan Herald
Locus-ing automation in logistics - changing dynamic
Furquan Moharkan, April 10, 2017, DHNS
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Nishith Rastogi

When cab aggregators crept into the market, automation in the logistics segment seemed a distant mirage. But few years down the line, in 2015, it became a reality when two ex-Amazon employees - Nishith Rastogi, a BITS Pilani alumnus, and Geet Garg, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, joined hands to form Locus.

Locus is a platform for enterprises to manage intra-city logistics for scheduled and on-demand deliveries. The startup claims to help local companies and enterprises in courier, ecommerce, food delivery, FMCG and other verticals to optimise their logistics. It enables on-demand businesses to dispatch, track and manage their on-field workforce.

The company, which has moved its employee strength from two to 40 in just a couple of years of its existence, is currently automating intra-city logistics for leading enterprises in India, like Urban Ladder, Delhivery, Lenskart, Quikr, Licious, and 1MG. Locus has built proprietary algorithms solving several problems like load balancing, route optimisation and planning, container utilisation (3D packing). "The people will tell you where the truck is, but when we started, we aimed at letting people know where the truck should be,” says Rastogi, who is also Locus’ CEO.

"Locus offers a set of infrastructure services making it a complete technology stack for logistics in the form of platform as a service,” he adds.

Their technology suite comprises a proprietary route deviation engine, order dispatch automation, capacity optimiser for fleet, field user app, dashboard for operations, live tracking for end-customer, configurable alerts from activities on ground, live reporting and predictive analytics.

The company recently raised $2.75 million in Series A funding from Exfinity Venture Partners. Blume Ventures, BeeNext and Rajesh Ranavat, MD of Li & Fung Capital, along with existing investors, also participated in the round. Amit Ranjan, founder of SlideShare, was an early investor, which boasts of V Balakrishnan, ex-CFO of Infosys, as its board members.

The idea for business emerged from RideSafe, an app they built over a route deviation engine for travel safety for women. "I initially made that app during the Nirbhaya days, and I started getting orders from people asking, if I had a commercial version of it. That is when we developed Locus,” Rastogi adds.

Rastogi further claims that the venture offers various benefits to its clients - 25% increase in efficiency and productivity gains in the furniture vertical, 40% jump in number of orders per vehicle for intra-city C2C deliveries, 75% increase in orders per delivery boy in food tech and laundry, 8% more customers serviced within SLAs in food-tech companies, 15% increase in efficiency in grocery companies, and up to 25% fuel savings among others.

Quick facts
­Founders: Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg
Into: Intra-city logistics
Funding: $2.75 million in Series A round


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