Technology ensures that a chocolate fudge brownie, which is 15 kilometres away, is delivered within 30 minutes. Isn’t it magical that the delivery app knows when and where you’ll be craving a brownie and hence stations a delivery executive near you to ensure timely service? It’s like having your own butler except everyone around you has the same service. This runs on the power of data science, more specifically, on location analytics.
The idea for Locale.ai originated in April 2018, while founders Aditi Sinha and Rishabh Jain were working at SocialCops, a data consultancy company in New Delhi. At the consultancy, they realised that there are entities and companies that collect a large amount of geo-location data, i.e. the latitudinal and longitudinal data, and addresses but did not have the right tools to make sense of it. “We then built an internal tool at the company to make our life simpler,” explains Sinha. The Bengaluru-based start-up was founded in 2019. The product was officially launched in 2020.
During the initial few months, before the launch, the founders focussed on research and development. They worked with some of the biggest on-demand and mobility start-ups companies in India for their market research, and with 50 start-ups in all, and kept improving their product based on their feedback.
Today, Locale.ai can analyse the data of the number of orders received in a particular area, the timing of orders, and popular outlets. This, for example, helps a food-aggregator deploy their delivery staff more efficiently, saving time and cost. Before this, the aggregator would have met shortages of delivery personnel in a particular area by calling in personnel from other locations, however far, without time for planning.
The start-up offers a subscription-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform, and has a tiered pricing-model based on the number of orders, number of bookings, locations and so on. At present, they charge anything between $200 per month and $10,000 per month, depending on the scale of the company, number of orders, locations etc. Locale.ai operates in five countries including India and has eight paying customers — from bike ride-sharing company Bounce in India to Aha Move, one of Vietnam’s largest food delivery companies. It has recently announced a partnership with Germany-based Wunder Mobility. Currently, a larger part of their clientbase is based abroad, and they hope they grow in that direction further. By the end of FY21, Locale.ai expects to touch $500,000 in revenue.
On a global level, Sinha says that their biggest competitor is a US-based company called CARTO. According to Sinha, what differentiates Locale.ai from CARTO is its business model: “We are completely a SaaS product but they follow a consultancy approach, where they help companies work on certain problems using their platform.”
Originally bootstrapped, Locale.ai raised an undisclosed amount of funding through an angel round in July 2018 and a pre-seed round in April 2019 from Better Capital and angel investors including Myntra co-founder Raveen Sastry and Fusion Charts co-founder Pallav Nadhani.
According to the founders, revenue is not their focus at present. They are keener on refining their product and expanding their market. The founders say that any company that has moveable assets with commercial value needs location analytics. “Whether they are futuristic segments such as autonomous cars or drones or industries that are still catching up with technology such as logistics companies and courier services, location analytics will be essential to improve the speed and cost-effectiveness of a service,” says Sinha.
With such a massive market to cover, the start-up needs to locate itself carefully.