The Tech Panda 6 startups of the month: eCommerce & logistics
The Tech Panda lists six eCommerce and logistics startups that are rocking the ecosystem.
Ecommerce and logistics are inter-related and interdependent. One of the sectors that have spiked after the pandemic, eCommerce has evolved in a short span of time, a process mostly boosted by digitization.
On the other hand, logistics was one of the worst faring sectors during the pandemic. However, since a lot depends on this sector, digitization has marked unprecedented improvement in the area.
A January study from Juniper Research found that the value of global eCommerce payment transactions will exceed US$7.5 trillion by 2026, from US$4.9 trillion in 2021. This 55% growth rate will occur owing to retailers offering compelling omnichannel retail experiences that increase user eCommerce spend.
Omnichannel retail is a model that provides end users with the ability to access retail services, including sales and customer support, via multiple channels.
The research predicts that channels, such as online, mobile and physical retail locations, will be key for success in the future. The reason is user expectation that the same services will be available no matter the channel.
Moreover, there is a rise in appetites for new payment methods within eCommerce checkouts, including Open Banking-facilitated payments and digital wallet one-click checkout buttons. Juniper recommends that merchants make sure they can offer payment options that match changing user expectations, or they will be soon left behind.
It’s no surprise that by 2026, China is supposed to account for over 37% of global eCommerce payments by transaction value, owing to its easily accessible alternative payment methods. China has been leveraging digital wallets, Open Banking?facilitated payments and cryptocurrencies to succeed.
We know that prepaid card transaction value and payment card technology revenue are to encounter super growth in the next five years globally, driven by financial inclusion and metal and biometric cards driving change.
As long as there is a demand for physical goods, logistics will remain a busy market. And physical goods will remain in high demand. This demand is, in fact, giving rise to a strange market. A Juniper study found that the global market value of the subscription economy will grow to US$275 billion in 2022 rising from US$224 billion in 2021, and one of the drivers is the demand for physical goods.
The Tech Panda has singled out six eCommerce and logistics startups that are infusing the ecosystem through tech innovation.
Macmerise is a one-stop-shop for themed merchandise for celebs, influencers, and brands offering 50+ products across categories such as consumer electronics, fashion and apparel, mobile accessories, games and stationery, home and kitchen, and many more. Currently, the company has more than 24 licenses and tie-ups with brands like Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Jim Beam to name a few to sell themed merchandise on their platform.
Macmerise is disrupting the existing merchandise selling space with its tech forward platform for celebrities, influencers, brands, and content creators (located in India and across the world), enabling them to co-create and launch their merchandise and ability to customise products including themed merchandises across multiple product categories and manage end to end fulfillment of these products, all under one roof.
Creative and expressive merchandise is fast emerging as a preferred category for GenZ and millennials who are looking for brands that speak their lingo. Within e-commerce, the creative fashion and accessories space is becoming bigger and by the very nature of their business it will drive higher customer loyalty.
Brands, both global and local, are now focused on customisable options that resonate deeply with today’s evolved audience. Merchandising has grown to fit into that niche.
The founders Sahil Shah and Rahul Satia have collectively devoted 12+ years to the designer merchandise selling space alone and now want to scale in the celebrity merchandise arena. The company is leveraging the already established supply chain across India, China, and the UAE along with existing celebrity partnerships and collaborations.
We truly believe the world of merchandising is changing and at Macmerise we have created our products, tech and business model to lead this change from the front
Sahil Shah, Founder and CEO, MCD, says, “We truly believe the world of merchandising is changing and at Macmerise we have created our products, tech and business model to lead this change from the front. Our conquest is to simplify the customer journey in their search of buying their favorite designer merch. We aim to join hands with leading celebrities/creators of this generation to build their authentic range of designer products and manage the complete supply chain cycle of these brands.”
Apart from their website, they sell through 35+ stores (Hamleys, Reliance Digital, Cred, ToysRUS, Planet Superheroes, Entertainment Store) and online marketplaces such as ShopDisney, Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra.
MCDs business model is one of the key differentiating factors. While the majority of their competitors operate in an inventory heavy model, MCD has opted for no inventory, just in time model. This model helps them standardise their operations and costs, hence enables them to maintain a certain standard of quality and scale faster. MCD has also been able to differentiate itself with the number of brands and celebrities onboard, which helps them to create a community around celebs, brands, and their followers.
Oorjaa is a tech driven intra-city logistics solution provider working with some of the leading enterprises in India. It allows its clients to get the most cost optimised and KPI driven logistics solution. It has built robust operating processes with 40+ team members across cities.
It offers highly effective technology driven logistics solutions aided with transformative technology solutions on auto-routing, network optimization, data analytics, trip management and highly efficient operating processes run by the most skilled and trained manpower.
Oorjaa was founded by Sandeep Patil, Prashant Mohite, and Yogesh Parab, each with uniquely diverse and complementary skill sets in late 2019.
In the intra-city logistics segment, the challenge of streamlining supply chain processes supported by real time solutions to improve the delivery time exists. Oorjaa has built a smart tracker that tracks all the data from the order placed to POD (Proof of Delivery) and ensures the best results with high rate of accuracy
The Intra City Logistics market is US$3.5 billion and is expected to double by 2025. It is presently served by the unorganized and fragmented transporters with rudimentary working styles.
In the intra-city logistics segment, the challenge of streamlining supply chain processes supported by real time solutions to improve the delivery time exists. Oorjaa has built a smart tracker that tracks all the data from the order placed to POD (Proof of Delivery) and ensures the best results with high rate of accuracy.
Their biggest strength is having proprietary tools for optimizing logistics operations, diversely skilled founders with decades of experience in building products and businesses. They have bootstrapped to an impressive two-digit ARR with founders’ capital and investment of just INR40 lakhs.
Since its launch in November 2019, Oorjaa has expanded to 15+ cities, 30+ Hub locations, conducting 4000+ orders per day with 200+ Vehicles (inclusive of EV Cargo Vehicles, promoting sustainability). Their B2B clientele include some of the most well-known large e-commerce, food-tech and e-groceries companies.
They have also built a 5 step Intelligent Routing solution to get order inputs, identify optimal solutions, factor available vehicles, modify routes and formulate final best optimized route plan.
Oorjaa aims to leverage AI/ML, IoT tools and intelligent route optimisation algorithms in future to aggregate demand and cross utilise assets (LCV such as TATA Ace/407 & Bolero), along with passing on some of the cost benefits to their clients. They envision becoming an intelligent, innovative and sustainable technology powered preferred logi-tech solution provider by 2025. The team has a strong client pipeline for FY 22/23.
CommerceIQ is a retail ecommerce management platform that is unlocking profitable online market share growth for consumer brands through intelligent automation. Its unified platform applies machine learning and automation across marketing, supply chain, and sales operations to help brands boost share-of-voice (SOV), minimize out-of-stock (OOS), and prevent revenue leakage.
The company uses machine learning, analytics, and automation to aggregate data across sales, marketing, and supply chain operations, helping trusted brands gain shoppers at the moment of purchase and maintain customer loyalty. The technology behind its platform has been developed out of its Bengaluru facilities.
“Our mission is to empower brands to move from analog to algorithms. Winners in this new era of commerce will be determined by how fast they can reinvent their business from siloed and manual to fully connected and automated. And our customers are winning big, with an average revenue growth of 18%, driven by real-time optimizations that boost share-of-voice (SOV), minimize out-of-stock (OOS), and prevent revenue leakage,” said Guru Hariharan, CEO of CommerceIQ.
With worldwide retail ecommerce growth expected to reach US$7.4 trillion in 2025, mastering operational scale and unit economics through retail ecommerce channels is essential.
Nestle, Colgate, Whirlpool, and more than 2,200 consumer goods leaders use CommerceIQ as the single source of truth for their retail ecommerce. CommerceIQ has raised US$200 million from venture investors including Softbank, Insight Partners, and Madrona Venture Group.
Our mission is to empower brands to move from analog to algorithms. Winners in this new era of commerce will be determined by how fast they can reinvent their business from siloed and manual to fully connected and automated
As part of a recently announced go-to-market expansion to service brands in the Indian market, it has tweaked its algorithmic components to optimally respond to shoppers’ behaviour on local retailers like Amazon.in and added support for local websites like Flipkart. The company employs over 150 people out of its Bengaluru office and is expected to nearly double that by the end of the year.
Based in California, USA, the company caters to large first-party (1P) sellers on retail ecommerce channels, including Kellogg’s, Mondelez International, Nestle, Whirlpool, and Colgate, Johnson & Johnson.
On the heels of a successful Series C funding in the first half of 2021, it closed out the year doubling year-over-year revenue, doubling customers served, and doubling headcount across every department in the US and India.
Xpressbees’ strong domain expertise and constant focus on meaningful innovation has helped it rapidly evolve as one of the most trusted logistics partners in India. The brand has built a technology platform, an extensive network reach, a last mile management system, and has experienced a near 100% growth in revenue on a year-to-year basis.
Xpressbees has developed a differentiated, highly scalable, and asset-light operating model that is fully integrated through a customizable tech platform
As the Indian e-commerce market continues to grow, the need for end-to-end supply chain solutions that can meet the needs of diversified customers across industries has never been more pronounced. Xpressbees has developed a differentiated, highly scalable, and asset-light operating model that is fully integrated through a customizable tech platform.
Founded in 2015, Xpressbees is currently present across 3000 cities, serving over 20,000 pin codes, and delivers over 1.5 million packages per day. Xpressbees now has over 100 hubs across India, 10 lakh sqft. plus warehouse capacity, and operates across 52 airports in the country.
In addition to the e-commerce (B2C) division, Xpressbees’ vision to evolve into a strong full-service logistics organisation is reflected in its new lines of businesses like 3PL, B2B Xpress, and cross-border operations.
Gharobaar, is an e-marketplace for small homegrown brands and home-based businesses. The e-commerce platform, with the brand tagline ‘Ghar Se Ghar Tak’, aspires to connect small and unknown home-businesses with prospective buyers online and to further contribute and support the growing ‘Make In India’ economy.
The company is a Delhi based e-commerce startup founded by banker-turned-entrepreneur Sakshi Aggarwal and co-founded by Aditya Gupta. During the pandemic, Sakshi and Aditya came across inspiring journeys of many homepreneurs who chose to follow their passion and demonstrate grit in times of adversity and be the proud breadwinners for their families.
However, they also observed the absence of a single platform that lists such products for sale. Gharobaar, combining ‘ghar’ and ‘karobaar’, was thus born with a clear vision to provide an exclusive digital platform to such home-based businesses and help them reach out to a wider buyer community online.
The idea behind setting up Gharobaar is to provide a trusted platform to these sellers to sell and market their products and earn a respectable living. Giving recognition to the products that are culturally rich, environment friendly or unique from the mainstream market, forms the foundation of Gharobaar
Sakshi Aggarwal, Founder, Gharobaar says, “The pandemic gave a huge opportunity to a lot of people to start a business from home like cooking, knitting, painting etc. But they could only sell through word of mouth or social media. Most did not have the bandwidth to market themselves and promote their brand at a larger scale.
“The idea behind setting up Gharobaar is to provide a trusted platform to these sellers to sell and market their products and earn a respectable living. Giving recognition to the products that are culturally rich, environment friendly or unique from the mainstream market, forms the foundation of Gharobaar.”
At present, the website has more than 5000 products listed under 8 main categories, fashion, grocery, home, personal care and lifestyle, kids corner, arts and stationery, and gifts and festivities.
Its USP is that every product is handmade and locally produced by a home-run / home-grown business. The sellers get to sell products at their preferred rates and preferred mode of working and with their own identity, making it a unique social marketplace for small businesses.
The platform is currently dominated by female-led businesses from Tier 1 and 2 cities reflecting on the strong women entrepreneurship potential that our country holds.
Bootstrapped, the startup is looking for angel and institutional investors to further expand its products and services. The startup also plans to expand its services and partner with home cooks from across states, tarot readers, home tutors, music teachers, astrologers and more over the next few months.
Locofast is a leading tech-enabled platform for textile procurement services in India. It’s connecting textile suppliers and vendors from all over the world through its platform to streamline the currently broken supply chain by solving all textile procurement problems.
Most garmenters currently procure fabric from traders or small mills and are often short-changed on quality and delivery promise leading to loss of business. Locofast aggregates only high-quality mills on its platform and does quality checks before dispatching the order. They use technology to help buyers discover the best prices and give them visibility in the various legs of the supply chain. They help partners with earning via guaranteed business opportunities.
Its value proposition of better prices with good quality and reliable service has resonated well with its customer base.
The Indian textile sector is one of the oldest industries in the country contributing about 2% of GDP and employing over 45 million people. It is a space that is ripe for digital transformation. Locofast is attempting to bring more technology to this traditional space creating value to all stakeholders across the value chain.
Locofast was founded by serial entrepreneurs Deepak Wadhwa and Mohit Piplani (who previously founded WeAreHolidays, a travel marketplace) to address the currently broken textile supply chain through a platform connecting vendors and suppliers from all over the world.
By providing operational excellence to our customers, we aim to streamline the currently broken textile supply chain
Deepak Wadhwa, Founder and CEO, Locofast says, “Despite being a major contributor to India’s GDP, the textile industry is fragmented and slow in terms of technological adoption. With our previous entrepreneurial experience coupled with technical expertise, on-ground study of the ecosystem and understanding of SME functioning, our mission is to enable a sophisticated tech-enabled platform for textile SMEs and empower them with market linkages from across the world. By providing operational excellence to our customers, we aim to streamline the currently broken textile supply chain.
Locofast’s prowess in technology, combined with a strong operational experience is disrupting the supply chain by making it smarter, efficient, and more transparent. In two years of inception, it has expanded rapidly and partnered with over 500+ suppliers who have collectively executed 5000+ orders of textiles pan India.
The company has touched the supply chain of 700+ brands of some of the big players in the apparel industry including supply chain partners for Zara and H&M as well as TJX, Cotton:On and Primark.