As I work with my Logistics startups in Brazil, there is one commonality that emerges as being critically value-add.
The value propositions of Mandae, CargoX, Comprovei and Athenas are radically different, disrupting and solving unique Logistics opportunities.
What sits at the core of these companies, and what emerges as an ever increasingly important factor is that these are technology companies and , beyond that, platform companies.
They are platform plays. What does that mean?
It is much more than good tech. Platforms deliver efficient integration points for the customer and partners; they leverage the data that flows through the process – data that is used to optimize efficiency, deliver productivity analytics, plan, optimize. Platforms allow for the intersection between information connectivity and the data science that delivers disruptive value.
I discussed this recently with one of my Brazil startup CEOs: “the value of this company in a liquidity event, is the platform. It not only is the productivity driverthat makes the margins work, It allows for scaling, consolidation, new product introduction.”
Mandae’s value proposition has become one of providing its customers a platform to ship across huge parcel network fragmentation. The platform allows for customers to interact and integrate, and for the vendors to do same. On top of the platform sit dashboards and data management for optimization. The platform translates customer need into optimal route. The platform executes the transactions. The platform allows for easy integration of new network partners and the disruptive evolution of creative customer products.
Athena’s platform integrates multiple regulatory partners, logistics partners in a comprehensive terminal operating system. By using state-of-the-arts technology, such as: plugin extensibility, Internet of things connectivity, 3D realtime planning and artificial intelligence optimization, TOS+ arises as a unique platform in its space. The platform will be also able to look across terminal operations and provide big data analytics for performance and productivity improvements.
The CargoX platform is the secret sauce to its success as an electronic broker, sitting on a network it built and manages of thousands of customers and truckers. The platform is the barrier to entry of competitors and is the valuation driver of this company. Automation, tactical data analyrics and route triangulation drive the model for the customer and the truckers. Planning, execution, scaling are all done through the platform.
Comprovei uses its algoritmic platform to plan and optimize multi-stop route deliveries. With 16 million deliveries todate, and in excess of 1.5 million deliveries/mnth planned and executed, the company does so with a team of 10 people! The platform allows for easy customer and trucker interaction, strong TMS and API interfaces when required, and data products for planning and route optimization.
Bottom line, success is heavily dependent, not only on state of the art technology, but the development of platforms that drive execution, productivilty, customer ease, data science…and scalability – and that is what drives exit valuation!