Logistics start-up Locad raises US$11 million, plans to more than double S’pore headcount

SINGAPORE – Singapore-based logistics start-up Locad has raised US$11 million (S$14.6 million) and plans to more than double it headcount here from 11 to about 30 by the end of 2023.

The series A fundraising round, announced on Monday, was led by Reefknot Investments, a joint venture between Singapore’s investment company Temasek and logistics company Kuehne + Nagel. Returning investors include Sequoia India and Antler.

Locad connects e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Shopee and Lazada to a regional network of warehouses and shipping partners. This allows merchants listed on various platforms to have their inventory synced across these sales channels, and their end-to-end order fulfillment to be outsourced.

For merchants, this means lower shipping costs and higher customer satisfaction. They no longer need to maintain separate inventories on different platforms, but instead have their goods stored in a single warehouse in a particular location.

Co-founder and chief executive Constantin Robertz said by tapping cloud infrastructure to streamline and optimise supply chains, customers get their deliveries faster, without having to pay more. This is made possible because products are now stored closer to customers via a network of warehouses and shipping carriers

Locad is also able to move goods between warehouses based on customer demand.

For instance, if a Singapore merchant wishes to ship goods to Australian customers but does not have inventory in that specific area, Locad will automatically ship some of the merchant’s goods from nearby warehouses to the desired one. The customer will no longer see an eight- to 12-day international shipping time frame but instead have the goods arrive in one to two days.

The new funds will be used to add more warehouses and transport operators to Locad’s ecosystem. It currently has 15 warehouses in the region, four of which are in Singapore.

Globally, it has about 100 staff and hopes to grow to 150 to 180 people by the end of the year.

Locad currently serves 200 brands, with its customers spread across Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia. In 2022, it shipped more than two million orders, with a 99 per cent same-day order fulfillment rate.

Mr Shrey Jain, co-founder and chief technology officer, said it is targeting to triple its growth in 2023, with plans to expand to Malaysia and Indonesia.

“However, we may face some headwinds as global macro conditions may result in the slowing growth of e-commerce.”

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