A supply chain services company called Locus has tapped into investor interest in the growing logistics sector, raising $50 million in a Series C funding round led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.
The startup delivers analytics on real-time tracking of goods and last-mile distribution through its deep machine learning technology. Other participating investors in Locus’s most recent funding round are Qualcomm Ventures, as well as existing investors Tiger Global and Falcon Edge, the firm said.
The majority of the funds will be used to expand Locus’s global footprint, especially in Latin America, where it is aggressively building a presence, according to Locus CEO Nishith Rastogi. It’s also planning to build its research and development team, including by recruiting more doctorate degree holders into its data science team. The firm plans to double its number of patents by 2022.
“Quality and patient capital allows us to focus on path-breaking research and development, helping us deliver exceptional long-term value to our customers, over incremental improvements,” Rastogi said in a statement.
Locus has already built up a notable client list. The startup works with consumer giants Nestle, Mondelez, Unilever, and others that want to cut operational costs across their supply chains, as well as reduce carbon emissions.
Thus far, the firm says its platform has saved its clients more than $150 million in logistics costs, more than 70 million kilometers in distance traveled, and reduced more than 17 million kilograms in greenhouse gases.
Other angel investors that participated include Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau; Cred CEO Kunal Shah; Raju Reddy, founder of Sierra Atlantic; and Deb Deep Sengupta, former president at SAP South Asia.
The firm has previously raised $30 million in funding rounds.
GIC has snapped up a number of logistics assets in the past year. The popularity of warehouses and distribution centers was already rising with the growth of e-commerce before the pandemic, and it has only surged higher since, thanks to consumers doing the bulk of their shopping online.
“The logistics sector continues to be a long-term area of focus for GIC,” GIC Real Estate CIO Lee Kok Sun said last year.
In December, the sovereign wealth fund joined a $750 million strategic partnership with real estate firm ESR Cayman Limited to develop industrial and logistics properties in India. It also participated in a nearly $1 billion joint venture with real estate firm Kennedy Wilson to acquire and manage logistics assets in Britain.