Funding to fuel SEA expansion and scale up logistics operations system
Pilot version of solution currently deployed, full version to be released in October
SINGAPORE-based logistics startup Sypher Labs has raised S$589,000 (US$473,500) in seed funding, led by Get2Volume with co-funding from Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF), under its Technology Incubation Scheme.
This investment will be used to scale up Sypher Labs’ logistics operations system and expansion into additional South-East Asian markets. The company’s flagship solution is VersaFleet, a cloud-hosted one-stop portal, designed to help fleet operators effectively manage their operations.
Shamir Rahim, chief executive officer and founder of Sypher Labs, noted that logistics is “an evergreen industry”, but it is having trouble coping with the boom of e-commerce, resulting in a bottleneck in the flow of goods from one point to another.
“VersaFleet aims to solve this problem, in a simple, user-friendly and cost-efficient manner. Today’s investment from Get2Volume and NRF is crucial for VersaFleet’s next phase of development, which will include advanced logistics business analytics, electronic proof-of- delivery, and integration with a wider range of in-vehicle on-board sensors,” he added in a statement released announcing the funding.
Commenting on the investment Get2Volume chief executive officer (CEO) Mike Holt expressed excitement over the opportunity present in the logistics space.
“The Internet of Things (IOT) is a significant opportunity and one of the largest segments is asset and fleet tracking. Sypher Labs has a great solution to improve the efficiency of logistics companies with its IOT asset management solutions. We are excited to be a part of Sypher Labs’ next phase of growth,” he added.
Sypher Labs currently services clients in Singapore and Malaysia, and intends to expand to Indonesia and Thailand by 2015.
In response to queries by Digital News Asia (DNA), the company reported that it is expecting a growth rate of about 20% by end 2014.
A pilot version of VersaFleet has already been deployed since the first quarter of this year, across five logistics companies in Singapore and Malaysia, managing more than 60 vehicles.
The full version of the solution is expected to be launched in October 2014 and will offer a more robust architecture with a mobile despatch function.
VersaFleet claims to enable logistics operators to effectively modernise how they manage their fleet, using a cloud-based central operations portal.
The solution provides a full-suite of operations management, including managing job orders electronically, 24/7 real-time tracking of vehicles via GPS systems, and automatic billing and invoicing upon job completion.
It is touted to be easily scalable and can be integrated with other systems, such as warehouse management, parcel tracking or Electronic Data Interchange systems. It also uses encrypted cloud databases, to ensure that data is secure.
Jan Donyada, who heads business development at Sypher Labs said that there are currently some 30,000 logistics companies in Singapore and Malaysia alone, with an estimated 70% resorting to traditional ways of managing their fleet, such as manually generating bills and invoices, or even using whiteboards and paper.
“By leveraging upon VersaFleet, fleet operators can automatically generate and capture a huge amount of logistics operations data that has largely been done offline or limited to larger players in the logistics industry.
“This will allow them to improve their efficiency significantly, providing a better service to their clients,” he added.
Sypher Labs was founded by Shamir Rahim in 2012, who currently heads the team of four. His interest in entrepreneurship began when he embarked upon the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) program in 2006 and interned for a year in a Philadelphia-based venture capital firm.
In 2012, Sypher Labs received the ACE Startups Grant, a grant for first-time entrepreneurs to support their innovative business idea. It was also supported by NUS Enterprise, beginning operations at the NUS Enterprise Incubator and benefiting from mentorship assistance and access to shared resources.
Sypher Labs participated in IDA’s iSTART @ Indonesia Programme in 2013 and will be at TechCrunch Disrupt at San Francisco in September.
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