(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The idea of TruKKer was born on a dinner table when Gaurav Biswas realised how hard it was to find a suitable truck at the right time at a reasonable cost. He was quick to spot a lucrative gap in the market and the region's first and fastest-growing truck aggregator was born. Biswas connected with childhood buddy Pradeep, also a successful tech entrepreneur, to build TruKKer. The company started in late 2016 in the UAE with a home relocation business and rapidly scaled into all truck-related services. Currently, TruKKer services 150+ B2B businesses and moves cargo all over the Middle East and North Africa.
"If Uber can use technology to connect people with drivers, surely it must be possible with trucks too? There was a lucrative opportunity waiting to be serviced. Just the thought of introducing technology to such a large industry gave me an adrenaline rush," said Biswas, founder and CEO, Trukker Technologies.
The logistics and transport market is traditional, non-standardised and fragmented. TruKKer was incorporated to transform the antiquated logistics industry by leveraging the power of technology to make the market standardised, transparent and efficient.
Transportation is emerging as one of the key drivers of economic activity and the GCC market is estimated at $35 billion. It is estimated that one million trucks are currently in operation across the region and this number increases by 5 per cent to 9 per cent every year.
"One year down, our modern way of truck hiring service and fleet solutions has started to change the way logistics managers make decisions. We are solving some of the core problems such as price standardisation, route optimisation, in-transit tracking, digitisation of multiple documents and timely delivery assurance. It has impacted the supply chain on both the supply as well as the demand side, with freight owners getting standard rates and ready fleet; and fleet owners getting business at fair and standard terms with minimum hassle for payments and collections," said Biswas.
In the second half of 2018, TruKKer is scaling up operations to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait with on-ground teams and infrastructure created at all these locations. TruKKer is also creating strategic alliances in the region for key competitive advantages in road freight and cargo movements.
The company has finished two funding rounds. The first round started with a self-funding investment from the founder. The company remained self-funded until traction was achieved in all business lines, which led to seed funding of $1.4 million in July 2017 by regional investors and venture capitalists, including RAED ventures and institutional investors such as Riyad Taqnia Fund. Global funds such as 500 Startups also joined the seed round along with Arzan VC, Averroes Ventures and other reginal investors.
TruKKer is currently focused on regional expansion and preparing for a $10 million series A with strong commitments received from existing and new investors along with large institutions.
"TruKKer has been one of our best investments and we look forward to continue being part of their success story as they scale operations all over the region," said Ivo Detelinov of Riyad Taqnia Fund. He added that the quality of the management team, the opportunity size and TruKKer's approach to market are the main reasons for RTF to have invested in it. "We feel that Gaurav and Pradeep are the best founder team you can find with great complementing skills and a very strong bond. They are equally passionate about the venture and we are proud to be supporting them in the challenge of overhauling such a large and traditional industry like trucking."
So, what sets Trukker apart? TruKKer is on top of advanced developments in technology such as blockchain for transport, autonomous vehicles, truck platooning, IoMT (Internet of Moving Things) and is constantly exploring the potential of application to the road freight ecosystem. Technology is evolving by the day and TruKKer is constantly pushing the boundaries to build the next generation logistics.
"We at Trukker are firm believers in technology and its implementation. Since our inception, we have been harnessing the power of big data to solve critical issues of performance and reliability in this industry. Our algorithms are enabling us to solve complex problems on driver allocation, vehicle positions and vehicle allocation along with creating additional data for predictive analysis. We are exploring the potential of machine learning techniques to sustain real-time demand-supply matching, create traffic maps [imagine Google Maps for logistics] and enable efficient utilisation of given resources," said Biswas.
TruKKer is more inclined towards building an ecosystem than just market share and each decision is taken keeping in mind the enablers, the truck drivers.
"It takes serious guts to be the first mover in a market that has continued being traditional in times of technological advancement. The idea of being part of something with mammoth growth potential and phenomenal drive was what attracted me towards TruKKer. The team's passion was infectious. On top, it is important for me to feel good about my job. The thought of making a difference to the lives of Trukker's drivers makes the whole deal a lot sweeter. A disruptive idea, a non-stereotypical team, delivering 20 to 30 per cent growth month on month, is tell-tale of a truly remarkable business," said Aakriti Dabas, business analytics and digital marketing, Trukker Technologies.
Sandhya D'Mello Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.