If you are eating an Amul ice cream in Chennai, there is a strong possibility that the trucks transporting the ice cream from Gujarat have been equipped with systems from Locanix, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) based logistics tech startup from Ahmedabad. The startup, which recently raised R2 crore in funds from private investors in India and abroad including senior executives from Goldman Sachs and Cisco, is planning to raise R8 crore within the next couple of months.
Locanix provides the back-end support for cargo vehicles being transported within the country by equipping the vehicle with a master device, containing a GPS chip and a SIM card. Connected to several censors present in the vehicle, the master device keeps the owners of the vehicles informed about the vehicle and the cargo’s condition in real time.
Speaking to FE, Ruchit Surati, co-founder and CEO, Locanix, said, “In India, a lot of malpractices take place due to lack of information. Many people live in the city and have factories far away in areas not easily accessible, and they are unable to keep a check on everything occurring there. Even installing CCTV systems does not entirely keep the situation in check. Similarly, when a cargo truck is being sent across the country, it is possible that the driver may get fuel filled for 70 litres but tell the owner it was 100 litres. Our system allows owners to customise the devices in such a way that an anomaly will be detected instantaneously and the owner will be informed. If a truck’s regular route is in Ahmedabad, and it takes a detour, the owner will get an instant alert.”
A techie at Interactcrm, USA, Surati founded Locanix with former boss and CEO, Interactcrm, Snehal Patel, who is now chairman of the board at Locanix. While Surati brings in domestic funding for the startup, Patel is able to focus on angel investors abroad.
Bootstrapped since its operations began in August 2012, Surati says the company was built with the customers’ money. “We sold our product before making it. Even now, we have a revenue-first approach. For one year, I went about seeing if the product was viable and I was able to prove that there is a market for the product I was selling. Our goal is to provide telematic solutions at affordable rates, and we are trying to disrupt the model wherein the quality suffers in an attempt to make systems cheaper,” Surati elaborated.
The startup currently caters to 150 customers, including Amul, Havmor, Sadbhav Engineering and has recently started working with Honda Logistics. It has an ongoing POC with the Indian Railways, and a partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra Truck and Bus Division. Until now, Locanix has equipped 2,500 vehicles with its system and plans to make that 10,000 vehicles in one year. One of its first customers, Dharmendra Prajapati, who belongs to the mining industry, has even turned investor in the startup. He had approached Locanix for a 63-vehicle deal, wherein all the trucks had to be equipped with Locanix’ devices overnight.
“We signed our first deal for 30 vehicles for R1.25 lakh in 2012. At that time, our monthly revenue was R37,000. Since then, our revenue has been doubling y-o-y. Now, we make R12.5 lakh each month and while reaching
R50 lakh each month will be a milestone, our real goal is to make crores each month,” said Surati.
The startup which aims to lead the telematics industry in India, spends 20% of its annual balance sheet on R&D. Of the R2 crore raised recently, Locanix aims to build its inventory and further expand operations.
Locanix provides GPS vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions
It recently raised R2 crore in funds from private investors in India and abroad
Plans to raise another R8 crore within the next couple of months
Currently a 36-people company, Locanix started operations from Chennai and Bengaluru
The startup currently caters to 150 customers, including Amul, Havmor, Sadbhav Engineering and Honda Logistics