E-commerce is booming in Southeast Asia, but in many markets the fragmented logistics industry is struggling to catch up. This means that sellers face hurdles when shipping to buyers, especially outside major metropolitan areas, and managing their supply chains. Locad, a startup that wants to help with what it describes as an âend-to-end solutionâ for cross-border e-commerce businesses, today announced it has raised a $ 4.9 million funding round.
The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge (Locad is currently part of the fifth cohort of the program), with participation from companies like Antler, Febe Ventures, Foxmont, GFC and Hustle Fund. It also included angel investors Alessandro Duri, Alexander Friedhoff, Christian Weiss, Henry Ko, Huey Lin, Markus Bruderer, Dr Markus Erken, Max Moldenhauer, Oliver Mickler, Paulo Campos, Stefan Mader, Thibaud Lecuyer, Tim Marbach and Tim Seithe.
Locad was founded in Singapore and Manila by Constantin Robertz, former COO of Zalora, Jannis Dargel and Shrey Jain, previously Senior Product Manager of Grab Cards. It now also has offices in Australia, Hong Kong and India. The startup’s goal is to bridge the gap between first and last mile delivery services, enabling e-commerce businesses to offer lower shipping rates and faster deliveries while freeing up more money. time for other parts of their operations, such as marketing and sales conversions. .
Since its creation in October 2020, Locad has been used by more than 30 brands and has processed nearly 600,000 items. Its customers range from startups to international brands, including Mango, Vans, Payless Shoes, Toshiba and Landmark, a chain of department stores in the Philippines.
Locad is among a growing list of other Southeast Asian-based logistics startups that have recently raised funds, including Kargo, SiCepat, Advotics and Logisly. Locad wants to differentiate itself by providing a flexible solution that can work with any sales channel and is integrated with a wide range of transport providers.
Robertz told TechCrunch that Locad is able to maintain an asset-lean business model by partnering with warehouse operators and facility managers. What the startup brings to the mix is ââa cloud-based software platform that serves as a âcontrol towerâ, allowing users to get real-time information on inventory and orders on Locad’s network. The company currently has seven distribution centers, with four of its warehouses in the Philippines and the other three in Singapore, New South Wales, Australia and Hong Kong. Part of its funding will be used to expand into other Asia-Pacific markets, focusing on Southeast Asia and Australia.
Locad’s seed cycle will also be used to add integrations to more couriers and sales channels (it can already be used with platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Shopee, Lazada and Zalora), and develop new features for its cloud platform, including more data analysis.