Logistics and supply chain management integrator Locad announced USD 4.9-million in funding, in a seed round led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge with participation from Antler, Febe Ventures, Foxmont, Global Founders Capital, Gokongwei Family, and Hustle Fund. Locad offers eCommerce brands and retailers simple yet scalable end-to-end solutions, ranging from plug-and-play eCommerce fulfillment to a distributed warehousing network in APAC for companies that are looking to scale their business internationally.
Redefining better and stronger eCommerce fulfillment
Powered by a fully digital and integrated platform with real-time visibility over order and inventory movements, Locad plugs an important gap in the current eCommerce state-of-play — the fragmented, complex, and slow supply chain ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Instead of powering growth, such gaps are creating barriers, rather than enabling companies who have the appetite and ambition to grow beyond borders.
Founded in Manila and Singapore in October 2020, Locad is fast making a name for itself in the logistics industry and now has offices in Australia, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, and Singapore. While many companies address first mile and last mile problems in delivery, very few provide the fully integrated solution that Locad is pioneering. Business customers of Locad have the opportunity to integrate with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora. Brands can manage all their orders and stock from a single virtual pool across multiple sales channels, with real-time visibility of sales, orders, inventory, and service levels.
While Locad irons out the back-end operations of running a direct-to-consumer business, brands can then be left to focus on growing their business.
“Since partnering with Locad, our business could focus less on the fulfillment process and more on other aspects like product and marketing. As a result, there is an increase in our sales and conversion rate right away,” said Janine Munez, director of IT operations at KJM Cosmetics. With the ability to fulfill orders faster and provide more affordable shipping rates to their customers, the Filipino-grown cosmetics brand based in Davao shared that their conversion rate nearly doubled for both their Shopee and Lazada stores after adding localized fulfillment in Metro Manila with Locad, thereby cutting delivery time and shipping fees for buyers.
CEO and co-founder Constantin Robertz shared, “eCommerce and on-demand delivery services are accelerating in the Philippines. Many vendors, producers, and sellers are migrating to digital channels but are still hampered with the logistics of bringing products to their customers. They also lack infrastructure, resources, and experience in managing both online services and their own supply chain.” With the exponential growth of eCommerce in Southeast Asia, Locad is empowering eCommerce brands that will play a pivotal role in driving the Philippines’ massive post-pandemic growth opportunity.
For Locad’s founders, the core of their mission is to level the playing field in direct-to-consumer commerce by giving brands small and large access to an integrated, distributed, and flexible supply chain network that is simple yet scalable. In an industry where reliability and speed could make or break an eCommerce brand, our ability to provide a one-stop platform, from fulfillment capability to distributed warehousing, allows brands to meet the evolving needs of their customers with flexible, nimble, and pain-free logistics solutions.
“We are now serving more than 30 brands in the Philippines, helping small businesses to some of the largest retailers deliver tens of thousands of items each month. We’re excited to be providing logistics infrastructures to eCommerce businesses of any size in these countries and we will continue to grow our presence across the region,” shared Jannis Dargel, COO and Co-Founder of Locad.
The Philippines’ first Sequoia Surge investment
Locad is the first Philippine Surge investment of Sequoia, one of the world’s leading venture capital firms that has funded legendary companies in the technology sector (including Airbnb, Zoom, Youtube, Tokopedia, and more) since 1972.
This investment will further enhance and expand Locad’s platform and fulfillment network that enables its clients’ goals for eCommerce growth. With eCommerce showing 76% penetration in the Philippines in 2020, an increase in the usage and need for Locad’s comprehensive services is likely to occur as businesses strive to level up their fulfillment infrastructure.
The additional funding will accelerate the development of Locad’s technology and will create better opportunities for businesses that select the logistics cloud as their platform of choice to grow their direct-to-consumer business in eCommerce and omnichannel retail, also ensuring continuity for years to come. By maximizing Locad as the primary platform in performing and organizing the logistics needs related to eCommerce, the integrated platform enables companies to run a more seamless fulfillment infrastructure at affordable costs.
Locad’s shipping platform with a comprehensive range of integrated couriers enables brands to deliver nationwide, and its fulfillment network with warehouses strategically located in Taguig, Paranaque, Laguna, Cebu and Davao (opening soon), provides flexible fulfillment capacity and allows brands to reduce shipping time and costs by storing products closer to online shoppers. With its Seed funding of USD 4.9M, Locad will expand its cloud logistics platform to work with more Philippine businesses of all sizes. The company is also investing in broadening its regional footprint in Southeast Asia and Australia, providing Philippine businesses an accessible option to pursue regional expansion and make their products accessible to consumers across Asia-Pacific.
Founders Constantin Robertz, Jannis Dargel, and Shrey Jain came together to start Locad after years in Southeast Asia’s eCommerce, transportation, and logistics ecosystem, previously working in leadership roles at Grab, Zalora, and Entrego.
Led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, the seed investment round of Locad is joined by Antler, Febe Ventures, Foxmont, Global Founders Capital, the Gokongwei Family, Hustle Fund, and angel investors from the technology, eCommerce, and logistics ecosystem, including Alessandro Duri (eCommerce, MEA), Paulo Campos (eCommerce, Zalora), Henry Ko and Huey Lin (Logistics, Flexport), Thibaud Lecuyer (Logistics, Loggi), Oliver Mickler and Tim Seithe (Fintech, Tillhub), Christian Weiss and Tim Marbach (Technology, Venture Capital).
Locad is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals work, live, and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.
Customers can reach out to use Locad’s services here.