Ecommerce might be the in-thing for entrepreneurs today, but its success hinges on a very real world problem – the delivery of items. According to Shamir Rahim, CEO and founder of Sypher Labs, the boom of e-commerce has resulted in a bottleneck in the flow of goods from one point to another. Today, the Sypher Labs team announced that they have raised S$589,000 (US$471,000) in seed funding, which will go into beefing up and expanding their flagship product, VersaFleet.
The round was led by Singapore-based accelerator Get2Volume, with co-funding from Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) under its Technology Incubation Scheme.
VersaFleet is a cloud-hosted one-stop portal designed to help fleet operators effectively manage their operations. It provides a full suite of features, like electronic job orders management, around the clock real-time tracking of vehicles via GPS systems, and automatic billing and invoicing upon job completion, among other things.
The logistic industry is undergoing rapid modernization in Southeast Asia. Startups like Anchanto and aCommerce, as well as big players like SingPost, are offering logistics-as-a-service to online retailers. Online groceries store RedMart is also developing their own in-house platform to optimize how they shift atoms.
But while internet companies are leading this charge, the traditional logistic industry could get left behind. Rahim estimates that about 70 percent of the 30,000 logistic companies in Singapore still use traditional and highly manual methods of conducting their operations. “[VersaFleet will] improve their efficiency significantly, providing a better service to their clients,” he claims. Head of business development Jan Donyada adds:
Today’s investment from Get2Volume and NRF is crucial for VersaFleet’s next phase of development, which will include advanced logistics business analytics, electronic proof-of-delivery, and integration with a wider range of in-vehicle on-board sensors.
Founded in 2012, Sypher Lab now services clients in Singapore and Malaysia, and intends to expand to Indonesia and Thailand by 2015.
(Image credit: Flickr user Justin Conklin)Editing by Terence Lee