Logistics management today is considered to be one of the most difficult business models to crack in the startup space. With funding constraints, investors are hesitant to place their bets on me-too models this year. However, Pranav Goel, Co-founder and CEO of Porter, claims that having the first mover advantage and high-end technology in this space helped them win investor interest.
Porter is a tech-enabled intra-city logistics. It is an online marketplace which offers mini-trucks (LCVs) to SMEs, small businesses and individuals on on-demand as well as on fixed arrangement basis. In fixed arrangement, vehicles are provided to industries for managing their first mile, last mile and inter-warehouse movement of goods.
On Porter’s booking platform, individuals and SMEs can connect to the nearest available vehicle depending on their requirement. The app offers the convenience of real time tracking of vehicles and also enables payments through the Porter wallet. Currently Porter is present in 5 cities - Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Inception of the idea
Pranav’s family had a saw mill business where logistics was a significant cost. There he observed several pain points in the areas of procurement and fulfillment for logistics services. The desire to solve that problem through technology led to the idea of Porter.
“The way logistics works in our country hasn’t changed much in a long time. This conventional model is working with a lot of inefficiencies which were not addressed, until now. With recent development in mobile technology, there is a lot of scope for improvement and optimization in this sector. The solutions which we are providing creates economic supply which ultimately benefits all the stakeholders involved,” he said.
Porter was founded in 2014 by three IIT graduates Pranav Goel, Uttam Digga and Vikas Chaudhary. “Being from IIT gave us the credibility to build strong talented team and helped us to reach out investors using our large and vibrant alumni network,” Pranav said.
How are we different from others
The company has raised Series A funding from Sequoia, Kae Capital and other angel investors last year, and said it was not looking to raise a fresh round of funds anytime soon. “Our first-mover advantage and strong technology platform, the large market opportunity and a market leader position in the cities we operate in – all of this helped us in winning investor trust,” he said.
The company provides mini-trucks (LCVs) to businesses and individuals on on-demand as well as fixed arrangement basis. On-demand customers can book a vehicle either by using our mobile application or by calling our call centre. In fixed arrangement, we provide vehicles to industries for managing their first mile, last mile and inter-warehouse movement of goods.
By offering the exact location, route monitoring and inventory utilization data to its customers, the company is able to offset the traditional systemic inefficiencies like low capacity utilization of vehicles due to supply demand information asymmetry and opaque pricing. This way, Porter helps drivers increase their earning by providing them wider customer base and by increasing their vehicle utilization.
Since its launch in 2014, Porter has amassed a customer base of 25,000+ regular clients and 75,000+ one time users. It has a record of 4,00,000 deliveries till date.