In a sign that the logistics and transportation technology market isn’t cooling (economic downturn doomed), HyperTrack, a startup that offers APIs for scheduling, assigning, and tracking freight orders, today closed a $25 million Series A financing round. Led by Westbridge Capital with the participation of Nexus Venture Partners, the round will focus on expanding HyperTrack’s engineering team and “doubling down” on broader growth, CEO Kashyap Deorah told TechCrunch in an interview this month.
As supply chain challenges continue, VCs view logistics startups — including HyperTrack — as a safe bet in tumultuous market waters. Although investments slowed in early 2022 compared to 2021, startups developing transportation and logistics technologies collected $14 billion in the first quarter alone, according to PitchBook.
“The pandemic has significantly accelerated on-demand delivery, the growth of the gig economy and software automation. All three factors have acted as headwinds to HyperTrack’s growth,” Deorah told TechCrunch via email. “Two of the toughest challenges for technology leaders are hiring talent and optimizing cloud accounts. Companies demand a rapid market introduction, while development plans are increasingly delayed. APIs help technology teams build their apps their own way with predictable time and cost.”
Prior to HyperTrack’s launch, Deorah co-founded the blogging platform RightHalf.com and the restaurant payment app Chalo (among other startups), which were acquired by Stratify and OpenTable, respectively. After spending just over a year at OpenTable as GM of payments following the Chalo acquisition, Deorah says he was inspired to create HyperTrack due to growing demand in the “on-demand” economy (e.g., food delivery services). and goods) by location and map technology.
“In the early days of DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates, then called ‘Uber-for-X’, I recognized the on-demand economy as the convergence of physical and digital commerce across multiple industries and regions,” Deorah said. “HyperTrack has witnessed too many enterprises building their own logistics engineering solutions, especially for on-demand fulfillment by gig workers. Our APIs deliver better solution, support and price predictability than hyperscalers.”
As Deorah explains, companies providing on-demand deliveries have traditionally taken a “linear approach” to geocoding customers’ addresses. (“Geocoding” refers to converting a description of a location, such as an address or place name, into geographic coordinates.) But the addresses aren’t always accurate. A recent study found that coordinates vary widely between commercial suppliers, with one supplier only accurately mapping addresses 30% of the time.
HyperTrack, on the other hand, claims to use “ground truth” delivery data – data from orders fulfilled and routes taken to destinations, for example – to calculate address accuracy in addition to metrics such as service time, route deviations and live driver locations. The platform feeds this data back to AI systems to “continuously” improve delivery order scheduling and allocation, Deorah says — ideally, it prevents delayed orders, low driver payments and wrong ETAs.
HyperTrack offers customers software development kits and APIs specifically for logistics around the last mile, or the last leg of an order’s journey. The toolkit will allow businesses to build workflows that help predict things like capacity utilization and cost per order, plus capabilities such as neighborhood search, geotags, geofences, and “flex routes” in consumer and delivery apps.
HyperTrack tackles a logistical roadblock that other vendors, including Google and Amazon, have also long attempted to address with their own solutions. For example, AWS’ Amazon Location Service allows developers to add location functionality such as maps, routing, and tracking to their apps, while Google’s Last Mile Fleet Solution comes with APIs, SDKs, and a backend service for mapping and routing functionality.
But Deorah claims that HyperTrack is one of the few offerings on the market that bridges mobile, cloud, and maps for a per-order price. He’s also targeting startups like Onfleet, Bringg (who became a unicorn last June), and Locus, which he says only provide proprietary packaged apps rather than unbundled APIs and development kits.
Cost is indeed a major challenge for logistics service providers in last-mile deliveries. According to Statista, more than half cite rising delivery costs as their head challenge, followed by reliable order fulfillment and a lack of employees. Eighty-two percent of brands believe they should improve their customers’ last-mile experiences, a separate survey found, in part by increasing delivery options and promoting sustainability.
The stakes can be high. In 2021, a Florida truck contractor claimed the US Postal Service’s reliance on dynamic route optimization software left it with a $110 million shortfall, forcing it to cut hundreds of jobs and opening it up to lawsuits. Amazon’s cost-effective routing algorithm reportedly had drivers running into traffic.
“Logistics technology builders are often confused by the various route solvers, mapping platforms, cloud technologies, and smartphone APIs they must link together to build simple use cases – not to mention inflexible fleet management applications that confuse developers with their APIs. ,” Deorah said. “[Using HyperTrack,] Logistics tech builders no longer have to spend months developing with a team of engineers to build out the consumer and driver apps for mobile, live location tracking, operations dashboard and cloud infrastructure.
Against the formidable competition, HyperTrack seems to have fared well, with 3,000 apps using the platform, including engineering company Jobox and home service company Spiritzone. Deorah – who declined to disclose sales figures – claims the platform now coordinates 10 million orders per month across a fleet of 150,000 drivers.
“In 2022 alone, HyperTrack has grown from 15 to 30 employees and we plan to grow to 40 in the coming months.” said Deora. “[HyperTrack] has been a complex product to build, but here we are with a great product and many production users, and now is the time to double the growth.”
The Series A tranche brings HyperTrack’s total capital raised to $32 million.