Logistics startup, Shipper, announced recently that it has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding. The round was led by Prosus Ventures (formerly known as Naspers Ventures) with participation from existing investors Lightspeed, Floodgate, Y Combinator, Insignia Ventures, as well as AC Ventures.
Shipper is based in Indonesia and co-established by Phil Opamuratawongse and Budi Handoko. Shipper aids small- and medium- enterprises by providing them with the option to compare and select the best rates offered by major logistics agents in the industry. According to the company’s website, Shipper is able to save its clients up to 60% in shipping costs through its methods, as well as provide pick-up services for their items to be directed to the chosen logistics company.
Shipper’s platform provides a one-stop location for businesses to manage their shipping needs such as creating and monitoring their orders. Companies who have the digital competencies to integrate Shipper’s services onto their apps or websites can also do so via adopting Shipper’s application programming interface (API).
Commenting on the current state of the logistics industry, Co-founder Handoko shared with Tech in Asia that there is a healthy demand for logistical services in the country but adopting technology is necessary to provide synergy to an industry that lacks coordination. Elaborating on Shipper’s journey, Handoko shared that the startup has since enjoyed a ten- to fifteen-fold growth over the past year. To add, they currently are in partnership with 100 express couriers (Gojek, Grab, Lalamove, POS Indonesia, J&T Express).
Sharing on the company’s plans for the future, Co-founder Opamuratawongse revealed that “We are also planning to release a consumer-to-consumer service, probably in the next quarter or two.” Their priority for 2020 would be to bolden its local market presence while navigating the tricky nuances of the logistics industry in Indonesia that is particularly amplified in smaller cities. One example shared was that such areas tend to have an additional 40% to their total delivery fees and this is a dissuades the use of online services. Global statistics also reflect Opamuratawongse’s concerns – regionally, Indonesia falls behind its neighbours (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand) in terms of progress in the logistics industry.
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With more than 2,500 logistics agents in Indonesia, most of whom are disproportionately dispersed across the country of 600 (out of 17,500) inhabited islands, the challenge to provide synergy in the industry does seem like a logistical version of David vs Goliath. Then again, everyone loves a good success story and hopefully, with the economy re-opening albeit at a cautious pace, Shipper might just have a success package shipping its way.