How is WareIQ helping brands to scale their business online?

WareIQ, an e-commerce fulfilment and shipping company, enables Amazon-like next-day delivery for e-commerce companies in India. It is a graduate of the Y-Combinator Summer’20 batch. The company serves brands that sell direct to consumers (D2C) through their own online channels or marketplaces. WareIQ allows brands to offer next day delivery by helping them store inventory closer to their customers using their platform connected to a nationwide network of fulfilment centres and last-mile couriers.

Harsh Vaidya and Aayush Mattoo, e-commerce and supply chain leaders built the company in 2019. They have worked in global markets with companies like Pitney Bowes and Delhivery, respectively. They started WareIQ with a vision to offer next-day delivery to all pin codes in India within a time span of three years. Their idea, WareIQ, offers its customers intelligence to make smart inventory placement and courier allocation decisions. It also offers end-to-end fulfilment, last-mile delivery, cash collection, and fraud detection services. Further, it also presents a digital command centre and dashboard for running, monitoring, and analyzing these core processes.

 

The team of WareIQ

 

Harsh comes with an extensive experience of 10 years in various operating roles with tech businesses and strategy consulting. He has been responsible for defining and executing shipping strategy at Pitney Bowes for the SMB unit, with $2.4B in revenue & 700k SMB customers. Harsh moved to India in 2019 from the US to start WareIQ with a vision to offer next-day delivery to e-Commerce companies in India.

While working at Pitney Bowes, Harsh observed that while supply chains are transforming in all major e-Commerce economies, India was still lagging. 80% of its e-Commerce parcels reaching customers in 5-10 days due to the lack of a modern supply-chain solution that’s built for speed. He got along with his founding team members. They come from a strong logistics and technology platform background, and together they launched WareIQ in 2019. They got backed by Y Combinator and other silicon-valley based VC funds in 2020.

Aayush Mattoo comes from an operations background at Delhivery. There he was responsible for managing large scale e-commerce operations. At WareIQ, he manages functions for both fulfilment and last-mile and building a robust network of partners pan India. Ravi Chaudhary, an IIT-Delhi alum, is responsible for building the entire tech infrastructure. He comes from the background of building enterprise Saas products in the past. He has also been instrumental in giving an edge to WareIQ in the market. Amanpreet Singh heads the customer success function. He comes from a background of managing enterprise relationships at an AI-based Enterprise SAAS startup and has been instrumental in assuring great experience for sellers on the WareIQ platform.

 

The Idea

 

Harsh, while working at Pitney Bowes, saw a transformation in e-commerce. The supply chain was moving to same and next day delivery with the new expectations set by Amazon. And this transformation was the fundament of tech nature. This got him excited about the opportunity for a high growth market like India. He took a sabbatical and returned to India in January 2019 and spent most of his time speaking to retailers in his network to understand what were their challenges to scale and logistics emerged as one piece which was limiting them.

He learnt that online sellers in India were struggling to get their orders fulfilled in expected customer timelines. This averaged at 6-12 days, while Amazon did it in 1-2 days guaranteed; in most cases, free of cost. He also got to know that 3PLs have optimized their infrastructure for large enterprise accounts in India; they do not work with SMBs or give them standard pricing. Even upcoming e-commerce avenues in India like social commerce platforms, live-commerce, vertical marketplaces, and fast-fashion platforms are reeling under the pressure of meeting customer’s expectations of fast and reliable deliveries. This gave Harsh an idea to launch an offering that caters to e-tailers that are agile and are looking to scale at speed and offer prompt deliveries to their customers.

During his sabbatical, Harsh met Aayush Mattoo, Ravi and Aman. They launched the company in 2019.

 

About WareIQ

 

WareIQ’s full-stack approach enables brands to centralize their operations on a single platform. It offers end-to-end fulfilment, last-mile tracking, COD, and returns management. It also offers a digital command centre for running, monitoring, and analyzing core processes. The company aims to deliver pan India reaching all pin codes even in the remotest of areas. With the thought of offering optimal flexibility to businesses irrespective of scale, WareIQ, lets brands start as small as a single rack or a pallet with no minimum-security deposits. It, thus, utilizes its pan-India network of warehouses in a plug-and-play manner.

Whether it’s a third-party seller trying to manage omnichannel delivery or a D2C brand looking to set up their own store and engage with customers directly – thereby saving fees that would have been paid to Amazon and other established e-commerce players – one can create their own fulfilment network offering rapid delivery of either next day or two-day delivery. Additional features like billed-on-usage pricing with no minimum deposits, along with no additional spending on Warehousing Management System or shipping software etc. make WareIQ a preferred e-commerce fulfilment service provider.

 

Changes brought into the market 

 

WareIQ allows e-Commerce brands in India to offer next-day delivery to their customers and compete with Amazon service levels. Currently, most e-Commerce parcels outside Amazon reach customers in 5-15 days. The key reason behind it is that 90% of online brands ship from a central warehouse while demand is highly fragmented. High fixed investments, rigid contracts & tech complexity makes distributed fulfilment inaccessible to online brands. WareIQ simplifies it through its software-only platform. It connects a nationwide network of fulfilment centres and last-mile couriers centralizing all tools on a single platform. WareIQ works in three easy steps:

1. Brands connect their online stores/marketplaces to the platform and send their inventory
2. WareIQ recommend smart inventory placement by location
3. As soon as a customer places an order, WareIQ ship it from the nearest fulfilment centre.

 

Business growth

 

Within 14 months of operations, scaling rapidly, WareIQ is currently working with 200+ online and retail brands with $2MN of annualized run-rate. With its target market consisting of growing e-Commerce brands that run into the challenge of poor shipping timelines and sub-optimum service levels on their own website and marketplaces, it has been working with clients across verticals like FMCG, Fashion & Lifestyle, Cosmetics, Electronics, Nutraceuticals, Home furnishing etc. It has been a partner of choice for prominent industry leaders and new-age D2C brands. Some prominent names include Kama Ayurveda, Wingreens, Lotus Herbals, Just Herbs, 24 Mantra Organic etc.

Currently, the company’s network of fulfilment centres exists in all metros (NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata) with a new centre recently launched in Guwahati to accelerate timelines in the North-East, thereby covering 27,000 pin codes pan-India. It charges a standard rate for storage, order processing, last-mile delivery and tech platform. Making money on every transaction through its platform has made the company profitable from Day 1 and has been able to successfully deliver over 100,000 parcels per day.

 

Funding

 

 The Company recently raised $1.65 MN of funding from Y Combinator, Funders Club, Pioneer fund, Soma Capital, Elmer’s Advisors and founders of Flexport. It is also on the lookout for partners with strategic alignment to its mission. It aims at working with modern e-commerce businesses and offering them all a state-of-the-art tool, reach and scalability potential. The company continues to invest in its network and platform. It will also hire across tech, operations and customer success teams.

https://www.ciol.com/wareiq-helping-brands-scale-business-online/

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