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Stock Commentary

Philippine-based logistics startup Locad raises $4.9-M in funding round

Merkado Barkada
Philippine-based logistics startup Locad raises $4.9-M in funding round

Philippine-based logistics startup Locad, which offers scalable shipping and fulfillment services to businesses in the Philippines, received the $4.9 million in funding from Sequoia Capital India (SCI) and several other investors, including the Gokongwei Family.

Locad is a graduate of SCI’s startup accelerator program which provides education, mentorship, and financing to growth-stage startups in batches. Locad was part of SCI’s 2019 batch, and now has offices in Australia, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Locad integrates with shopping aggregator sites, which then allow sellers to use Locad’s services to store, box, label, ship, and track customer orders. Congrats to the Locad team, and to the other startups in the logistics space for the attention that this transaction will bring!

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While this isn’t directly related to any public company on the PSE, it does touch on the surging value of the logistics industry, and on the massive challenges and opportunities that exist here within that industry at the moment.

Most customer-facing firms accept now that we are not going back to the way food and goods were sold in the pre-COVID days, where people flocked to centralized locations to shop for and take home whatever it was that they purchased. Instead, COVID pushed us face-first into the new model where the majority of shopping is done “off-site” (at home, in the car, at work... haha) without ever setting foot in a mall or restaurant.

Will people still shop in person? Of course! But retailers are preparing for the post-COVID economy where we will sometimes go out in person to buy certain things, but where most of what we get will be purchased online... and then shipped to our home. Our logistics network, which we mostly only needed to store goods and make deliveries to centralized shops on a regular basis, is now being asked to facilitate on-demand shipping by millions of individual customers. Large orders, small orders, business to business, business to consumer. Dry storage, cold storage, perishable food, car parts, sneakers and bubble tea.

The change has revealed opportunities in all aspects of the supply chain, from importation and port-based storage, to cold chain and warehousing, to last-mile delivery and customer-facing apps designed to reduce the friction of each transaction. Locad is just one small part of this, but it is very exciting to watch it happen in real-time. I hope that one day soon we will have greater logistics representation on the PSE.

 

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