Bengaluru-based Pando, a startup digitising the logistics operations for majorly Fortune 500s and global blue-chips, has raised $2 Mn in a Seed round of funding led by Nexus Venture Partners.
Kashyap Deorah at Hypertrack, Girish Mathrubootham at Freshdesk, Nishant Rao at Sirion Labs (Ex-LinkedIn India MD) and P Balaji at Vodafone (Ex-Nokia, Sony Erickson India MD) also participated in the latest funding round.
Nitin Jayakrishnan, Founder and CEO, said, “This investment is a shot in the arm for the team to continue to reimagine logistics — from being a heavy, cumbersome cost-centre, to being a robust, digital foundation to any business. We have seen encouraging adoption from Fortune 500s and global blue-chips. We will continue to focus on product and people, to ease and enable commerce through digital deliveries.”
Pando: What The Startup Is Doing And How It Is Doing That?
Pando was built on a simple observation — logistics is inherently networked, but the systems that manage it are not. In India alone, outsourced logistics rake up $200 Bn every year. Globally, this number is close to $10 Tn, as shared by Pando CEO.
While there has been a lot of digitisation and investments in the supply (transporter) side of the ecosystem in the recent past, Pando solves a key problem of convergence, on the demand (shipper or enterprise) side of the ecosystem, which is a large, global white-space.
As Nitin shared in a Medium blog, “Let’s say you order a meal through an app. It costs you about 300 bucks and takes approx 45 minutes to arrive. You can get the ETA, track the order, pay for it, and rate the experience, at the touch of a button. Now let’s say you ordered something worth 300,000 bucks, was fragile and takes weeks to arrive. Would you expect a similar experience?”
Unfortunately, this kind of user-experience is restricted to ecommerce deliveries and a majority of global commerce is driven by B2B deliveries, that operate with little to no information. The startup thus claims that the Pando Enterprise Suite is the region’s first enterprise-grade logistics management system, that is built to help enterprises of all sizes digitise, monitor and optimise their supply chain operations. “It is intelligent, predictive and scalable, and allows companies to control their fragmented, multi-tiered logistics ecosystems from a single screen,” said Pando in an official statement.
Pando Team And The Investor Observations
Pando’s team comes with deep experience in building and scaling products, and includes entrepreneurs, designers and engineers who have built great products and led global teams at Sandisk, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Think Design, Honeywell, Ernst & Young, Freshworks, Airbnb, Shadowfax amongst others.
Sandeep Singhal, Co-founder and Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, believes that Pando is enabling enterprises to turn their supply chain management function from a cost-centre to a source of competitive differentiation by providing real-time visibility and seamless digital links across the value chain.
“Pando’s clients are so happy with the product that they’re conducting workshops for each other to make the most of it,” he added.
Kashyap further added, “With new-age companies using logistics to differentiate themselves, incumbent executives are looking to logistics as a strategic priority. Logistics is no longer viewed as a necessary evil, but an opportunity to drive customer acquisition, retention and value. The digitisation that Pando enables is at the foundation of this transformation.”
Indian logistics is considered to be a $140 Mn worth market currently. As per a June 2016 report by the World Bank, India has jumped 19 places in the Global Logistics Performance Index, from 54 in 2014 to 35 in 2016. Not only this, recently, in November 2017, the government also gave Infrastructure status to logistics, clubbing it with transport which means that in the near future, Indian startups can sell their goods in global markets at much better competitive prices.
As the opportunity shines, many tech startups are already filling in various gaps in the Indian logistics sector and attracting investors as well. Apart from small ticket size fundings ranging between $1 Mn -$10 Mn, there are startups like BlackBuck which secured over $90 Mn. Then there is Rivigo, which after raising $75 Mn in November 2016, has now become a potential contender to enter the Indian unicorn club, as Softbank has set its eyes to invest over $200 Mn-$400 Mn in the company.
Here Pando has a clear opportunity to leverage its tech stack thereby solving the inherent issues in the logistics segment and the recent investment from Nexus and others will certainly act as a fuel to its global ambitions.