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Logistics startup Locus raises $50 million in Series C — aims to double its patents by 2022 and hire more data scientists

Jun 2, 2021, 20:36 IST
Business Insider India
<p>Nishith Rastogi, CEO &amp; Founder of Locus<br></p>Locus
  • Logistics startup Locus just raised $50 million in Series C round of funding from Singapore’s GIC, Qualcomm Ventures, CRED CEO Kunal Shah and others.
  • The Bengaluru-based startup plans on using the funds to double its patents over the next one year, hire more data scientists and expand into Latin America.
  • The company’s plan to innovate may have something to do with India’s new guidelines for geospatial data and services, which would help Locus create its own in house mapping solutions.
Locus, a Bengaluru-based logistics startup, has raised $50 million in its Series C round of funding led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC. The fresh capital will be used to expand the team, reach new geographies and grow the product portfolio, according to the company.

“We will be recruiting more PhDs in our data science team and are looking to double our patents by 2022,” said Locus chief executive Nishith Rastogi.

The startup currently has 10 patents in its kitty and wants another 10 in the next one year. And, it plans on using the liberalisation of India’s geospatial data to do it.
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Creating custom maps for e-commerce and other clients


“Given that we’ve been training our algorithms with data across sectors like e-commerce, FMCG [fast moving consumer goods], e-grocery, etc, we can potentially come up with forward-looking custom maps to serve certain client requirements,” Rastogi told Business Insider.

As a logistics startup, Locus uses mapping to configure routes that would minimise the distance in supply chains. In order to create accurate maps, it needs accurate data from satellites.

In India, getting access to that data was a hurdle — that is until February 2021, when the Indian government introduced new guidelines, which opened up the treasure trove of data to everyone for free. “The opening up of geospatial data in India will certainly aid in better innovation… These patents will be heavily data-driven,” he explained.
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Boost in IP creation needs a boost of manpower


In addition to mapping, Locus is working on a slew of other products as well. “We are building the end-to-end stack for all direct-to-customer and last-mile delivery requirements,” said Rastogi.

This includes products like NodelQ, which was launched earlier this year in April. The solution is meant to optimise the movement of goods, optimise stock levels, and find locations that can address any supply or demand gaps.
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In order to create more solutions like NodelQ, Locus needs more data scientists on board. As of March 2021, the startup’s headcount stood at 200 employees. The company did not disclose how many more employees it plans to hire with the new capital.

Locus is already present in three continents, and is looking to enter one more


Locus already has offices in seven countries including India, the US, the UK and Singapore. And its operations extend from North America to Southeast Asia, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

“Other than the geographies we are already present in, we are also investing heavily in Latin America and aggressively building our presence there,” said Rastogi.
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The Series C round of funding saw participation from the investment arm of the world’s leading chipmaker, Qualcomm Ventures, CRED chief executive officer (CEO) Kunal Shah and CEO of Pine Labs Amrish Rau.

Locus’ existing investors include Tiger Global and Falcon Edge. The company has raised a sum total of $30 million in external funding, so far.

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