Politics

Locad raises $11M to boost supply chain platform

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LOGISTICS startup Locad has raised $11 million during a funding round as part of efforts to boost its supply chain platform in the Philippines and across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

In a statement on Monday, Locad said the funding round was led by Reefknot Investments, which is a fund anchored by Temasek and Kuehne & Nagel.

“The series A funding round also saw participation from returning investors Sequoia India and Southeast Asia’s Surge, Febe Ventures, Antler, Foxmont, and Kaya Founders, as well as new investors Access Ventures and JG Digital Equity Ventures,” Locad said.

According to the startup, the funding round will be used to expand its supply chain platform that allows consumer brands in the Philippines and across the APAC region to automatically store, pack, ship, and track orders in a distributed, end-to-end supply chain as-a-service.

The startup added that the funding will be used to add warehouses, partner with transport operators, and hire talent across the region to scale in Southeast Asia and Australia.

“Locad’s platform, dubbed the logistics engine, syncs inventory across sales channels such as Shopify, Lazada, Shopee, Woocommerce, and TikTok Shop and orchestrates end-to-end order fulfillment for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) orders, from storage to delivery, through a network of warehouses and shipping partners,” the startup said.

The startup’s logistics engine provides the backbone to support the e-commerce and omnichannel growth of global brands such as Havaianas, Century Tuna, Reckitt Benckiser, and Emma Sleep in the region.

It is also expanding the logistics access of Filipino brands such as DMD Skin Sciences, Rawbites PH, Nuprene Co, and Humble Sustainability.

Constantin Robertz, Locad chief executive officer and co-founder, said the startup seeks to provide “frictionless movement” of physical goods and data across the supply chain for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and enterprise brands.

“As modern consumer brands in the Philippines and APAC are transforming to direct-to-consumer and omnichannel retail, we have seen that the supply chain and fulfillment infrastructure is a key barrier to scaling the business, and the bar is only rising further due to higher customer expectations for fast delivery, and the complexity driven by an increasing number of sales channels,” Mr. Robertz said.

Mr. Robertz said that Locad is eyeing to expand its presence in the Philippines over the next five years.

“In the Philippines, we already have fulfillment centers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Over the next 5 years, we expect to build the region’s largest network of warehouses enabling next-day delivery in Tier 1 to 3 cities across the region, and make this available to brands and merchants in one integrated platform,” Mr. Robertz said.

Reefknot Investments Vice President Ervin Lim said that Locad’s operating model of localizing warehouses into the cities and keeping the inventory close to the consumers gives time and cost savings to brands and consumers.

“We believe that Locad’s logistics engine will spur greater participation in the digital economy as consumers outside of Tier-1 cities can now receive their orders 2-3x faster at a fraction of the usual cost,” Mr. Lim said.

Launched in the Philippines in 2020, the company expanded its regional presence over the past two years. It has warehouses and carriers across Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Australia.

“To date, Locad has served over 200 brands across the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Australia, and fulfilled more than 2 million transactions while maintaining a 99% same-day order fulfillment rate,” it said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave