Group Meeran invests INR 4.5 crore in ShipNext, India’s first fully automated online logistics company
● Group Meeran, a Kerala-based family investment office, leads the pre-Series A round ● ShipNext launches AI-based ‘WeTruck’ and ‘WeTruck Partner’ apps designed for freight transport, the first in India to completely automate logistics in the long-haul segment
Chennai: India’s first end-to-end online logistics platform in the long haul segment, ShipNext Solutions, has raised INR 4.5 Crores in its pre-series A round. Kerala-based Group Meeran, a family investment office that manages the private investments of the Meeran family – the promoters of the Eastern Group of Companies, led the round. ShipNext has launched ‘WeTruck’ and ‘WeTruck Partner,’ India’s first mobile application for long-haul logistics customers and service providers.
ShipNext, founded in 2016 by a Kochi-based entrepreneur with a strong background in transport and technology, Clive Jose, turned profitable in 2021, after achieving significant growth of 795% since it launched operations in 2019. Jaijin Austin joined ShipNext’s Board of Directors in 2018 and is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the company. Its Machine Learning (ML)-based AI apps called ‘WeTruck’ and ‘WeTruck Partner’ automate the entire booking process for customers and operations for the service provider, ensuring seamless and transparent communication and service delivery. This tech-enabled match-making is ShipNext’s key focus area which leverages a state-of-the-art ML and AI-based system to assist customers with predictive modeling. From order placement to proof-of-delivery (POD) verification, invoicing, generating lorry receipt and real-time payments, WeTruck is the first app to offer the complete online procedure in the long haul segment.
Commenting on the capital raise, Clive Jose, Founder, and CEO, ShipNext Solutions, said, “At ShipNext, technology is central to how we leverage data to balance demand and supply. In logistics, often, customers find it challenging to obtain the correct pricing for their shipment and have apprehensions regarding multiple touchpoints and lack of transparency. To alleviate these concerns, we have set up a business model and a machine learning-based app that will offer the highest level of transparency to our customers and fleet owners. To simplify and minimize the learning curve on our app, we have introduced a chat-based model similar to WhatsApp that most of our users are familiar with and can easily understand. This investment is an endorsement in ShipNext’s platform as well as our vision to empower customers and partners with the only end-to-end paperless logistics app that ensures a completely online model of business.”
ShipNext will allocate the funds raised towards technological advancements, data acquisition, expansion of its customer, partner base, and scaling up the business. Currently, ShipNext processes over 3500 annual orders on average and plans to increase that to 50000 orders in the next two years. ShipNext counts Abref, Reliance Instruments, Alpha Packing, Renaizands Industries, Eastea Chai, and Stockarea among its customers.
Navas Meeran, Chairman, Group Meeran said, “We are excited about our investment and partnership with ShipNext. As per a recent report, the inter-city road logistics spend in India stood at USD 209 billion in 2021 and the road logistics market is expected to grow at 8% CAGR making it a USD 330 billion market by 2025. We believe that there is potential to build more sustainable businesses in this highly competitive market. As a group, through our investments in early-stage startups, we aim to back companies that have the potential to bring about positive social and environmental change alongside sustainable financial returns. We trust that our investment will further accelerate ShipNext’s growth trajectory and we are excited and proud to partner with the team as they execute their vision of transforming the Indian logistics tech landscape.”
Meeran Group is currently investing INR 200 crores in seed-stage start-ups that have the potential to create meaningful, resilient businesses and build an inclusive economy and fair, equitable society. The family conglomerate currently owns and manages brands like Sunidra Mattress, Eastea, Eastern Treads, Jackfruit 365, Nanma Constructions, and a few early-stage startup companies. The Group has invested in several successful startups like CloudSEK and Scoreline in addition to businesses across industries like real estate, technology, food, logistics, and more.