While at Zalora, Constantin Robertz was involved in moving warehouses six times as the e-commerce company grew out of its logistics infrastructure. This inspired him to become a co-founder Locationa logistics service provider for omnichannel e-commerce companies that connects its network of third-party warehouses and carriers to a cloud-based platform called its “logistics engine.”
Founded in Singapore and Manila by Robertz, fellow Zalora alumni Jannis Dargel and former Grab chief product manager of maps Shrey Jain, Locad today announced it has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Reefknot Investments, a joint venture between Temasek and logistics company Kuehne + Nagel. Returning investors Sequoia India and Surge, Febe Ventures and Antler from Southeast Asia also participated, along with new backers Access Ventures, JG Summit and WTI.
TechCrunch last dealt with Locad when it raised its $4.5 million seed round in 2021.
Locad can handle almost every part of the delivery process, from inventory storage and packaging to shipping and tracking. To date, Locad has handled order fulfillment for 200 brands, including Havaians, Levi’s Reckitt Benckisder and Emma Sleep. Customers are spread across Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia and ship an average of 25 to 5,000 orders per day. Last year, Locad was used to ship over two million orders and claims a 99% same-day order fulfillment rate.
The new funding will be used to add more warehouses and transport companies to Locad’s network and to hire staff in South East Asia and Australia, with the aim of building the largest network of warehouses in the region over the next five years. to build.
Robertz said helping Zalora scale its logistics infrastructure “seeded the seeds of how a cloud approach to the supply chain, with a scalable logistics infrastructure as a service, would be a better way.” During their time at Zalora, Robertz and Dargel also worked with brands that needed to build their own e-commerce fulfillment capabilities and tech stack to support multiple sales channels.
The aging logistics infrastructure, originally created for B2B wholesale distribution, could not keep up with direct-to-consumer brands as their sales channels multiplied. It also meant they could no longer rely on “walled garden” fulfillment networks operated by e-commerce platforms, such as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), as they grew in size.
At the same time, consumers want faster and cheaper delivery, and offering multiple options such as same-day, next-day, or economy shipping is important for conversions at checkout. Robertz said that in order to deliver faster without paying more, retailers should store products closer to the customer to enable shorter and faster last-mile deliveries. This requires a network of warehouses and integration between sales channels, warehouses and carriers. That’s what Locad’s technology makes possible.
Locad’s logistics engine syncs inventory from multiple sales channels, including Shopify, Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok Shops, and manages storage and delivery across its network of warehouses and carriers. Many Locad customers first approach the start-up while winding down their internal logistics activities. Brands often start with one warehouse to consolidate their inventory and order fulfillment across sales channels, before moving inventory into additional warehouses based on where their customers are located.
As it expands into Southeast Asia and Australia, Locad also plans to expand the number of warehouses in Tier 1 to Tier 3 cities in the region, aiming to enable same-day delivery in all cities.
In a statement on the financing, Reefknot Investments Vice President Ervin Lim said: “Locad’s unique business model of warehouse localization in the cities ensures inventory is kept close to customers, enabling significant cost and time savings for both brand and consumer. realize. We believe Locad’s logistics engine will drive greater participation in the digital economy as consumers outside Tier-1 cities can now receive their orders 2-3x faster at a fraction of the usual cost.”