Southeast Asian logistics startup TheLorry has secured an undisclosed strategic investment from global FMCG major Unilever, less than a month after it raised $5.85 million in a Series B funding round.
The investment will see Unilever acquire equity in the form of convertible preference shares in TheLorry, according to a statement by Unilever on Tuesday.
The deal will also connect TheLorry – a logistics platform linking clients to thousands of lorry, trucks, and van owners – to Unilever’s supply chain operations.
Unilever is no stranger to TheLorry. The startup had a trial partnership with Unilever in Malaysia to complete 620 deliveries in two months’ time.
Supported by Unilever’s startup collaboration platform Unilever Foundry, this trial represented a 99.2 per cent success rate of order delivery through improved route planning and 6.2 per cent of secondary transport cost savings reducing efficiency gaps in load.
The pilot also helped Unilever to identify areas of improvement in communication flows between TheLorry, third party logistics providers and the transporter.
Through a deeper partnership over the next three years, Unilever hopes to achieve secondary transport cost savings of 12 per cent through a delivery success rate of 99.5 per cent and on-time proof of delivery (POD) submission of 100 per cent, it said.
In addition, Unilever will support TheLorry in its rollout across Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, with the opportunity to scale further across the FMCG giant’s substantial supply chain network.
Besides providing services to Unilever and other customers, TheLorry will also identify new business relationship with other customers and businesses across the region. The startup will also move some of its core management to LEVEL3, a co-working space in Singapore connected to Unilever’s regional headquarters.
“In 2017, we studied emerging and new entrants to the transportation and logistics sector in South East Asia to understand ways we could disrupt conventional supply chain models. The results of our initial partnership with TheLorry are clear. Today we are excited to announce the next phase of our collaboration as we support TheLorry’s expansion across the region,” said Unilever head of supply chain and manufacturing Southeast Asia, Australasia and head of global logistics Olivier Carnet.
Earlier this month, TheLorry announced raising $5.85 million in a Series B funding led by Malaysia-based FirstFloor Capital. The round was also participated by PNB-INSPiRE Ethical Fund I, Cradle Seed Ventures, Axiata Digital Innovation Fund and existing investor, SPH Ventures.
Established in 2014, TheLorry claims to provide transparent, secure and reliable house moving and furniture transport solutions to its individual clients.
The company said it will use the Series B funds to strengthen its operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. The startup, which raised its Series A round, says it is profitable in Malaysia and Singapore. It expanded to Thailand and Indonesia in 2018.