MP Tom Watson wants UK competition authority to investigate Amazon’s Deliveroo stake

European restaurant delivery giant Deliveroo this morning announced that Amazon would be gobbling up a share in the company, by leading a new $575 million round of funding in it. But it looks like the e-commerce giant may be facing a little indigestion ahead.

Tom Watson, MP and deputy leader of the Labour Party, today announced that he will be asking the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the investment, opening the door to either imposing stronger conditions on the deal, or blocking it outright.

“It’s called surveillance capitalism,” he said today of Amazon’s approach to how it uses data from customers to build and sell products. “It’s a digital dystopia, and I shall be writing to the Competition and Markets Authority demanding they launch an investigation into this ‘investment.'”

We have contacted Watson directly to elaborate on which violation(s) he would cite in the referral and we will update as and when we hear back. Areas that the CMA might investigate could involve whether the deal would result in unfair competition, or a misuse of data.

Watson’s announcement came via a series of tweets on Twitter, in which he laid out his concerns in more detail. His words are a concise take on the key to Amazon’s business model: its focus on Deliveroo is not just to invest in new services to expand its e-commerce and logistics business, but to leverage the data generated in one operation to grow other parts of its business, too.

“Deliveroo’s CEO Will Shu welcomes a land grab by Amazon because ‘it is such a customer-obsessed organisation,'” he said, citing an interview Shu gave to the BBC about the investment. “He’s right, Amazon is obsessed. Obsessed with tracking tools, micro-targeted ads, extracting billions through monetising our personal data.

“They don’t want to get their mighty claws on a food delivery system. They want Deliveroo’s tech and data. They don’t just want to know how you eat, what you eat, when you eat. They want to know how best to extract your cash throughout your waking and sleeping hours.”

The CMA — and regulators in general — have had a mixed record when it comes to putting the foot down on large deals. On one hand, in the past European reguators approved major takeovers by Facebook of Instagram and Whatsapp — takeovers that now many are now questioning. On the other, it recently moved to block a $10 billion acquisition of Walmart’s ASDA by Sainsbury’s — effectively kicking the deal into touch.

The difference between these past cases and Amazon/Deliveroo is that the latter is an investment rather than an outright acquisition. However, there is an argument to be made that one can lead to the other, specifically in this case.

In September 2018, it was reported that Amazon had made at least two attempts to acquire Deliveroo, around the same time that Uber was also considering a bid for the company to bolster its Uber Eats business. (Deliveroo and Uber Eats have been in protracted competition to dominate higher-end, app-based food delivery services in key cities like London.)

At the time, Deliveroo was valued at around $2 billion; its valuation now is likely to be closer to $3 billion.

It’s worth pointing out too that another major acquisition that Amazon has made in Europe, of LoveFilm (to build eventually its Netflix competitor Amazon Prime Video), also started with an investment.

Amazon has had mixed success so far when it comes to food in London: it launched Amazon Restaurants in 2016 as one of the first markets for its move into food delivery, but closed it in 2018 (this is reportedly around the time that it first started to take an interest in Deliveroo).

Amazon has meanwhile been gradually expanding Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and other grocery delivery in the UK, but has yet to really utilise its relatively recent ownership of Whole Foods to expand that business beyond a few retail locations in London.

In the UK, there have also been rumors that Amazon has considered snapping up real estate from failing brick-and-mortar superstores, although so far nothing has materialised.

In that context, a stake in Deliveroo could well be one development in what is a very long-term play for Amazon, a company known for pulling off tenacious, long-term plays. Whether the CMA chooses to investigate both the deal as well as that wider context will be an interesting one to chew on.

How startups can use Amazon’s SEO best practices to dominate new shopping verticals

Amazon dominates the top ranking positions of Google for tens of thousands of ecommerce queries, but there are plenty of products in newer shopping categories where Amazon has not yet achieved SEO supremacy. Retailers in nascent verticals have an opportunity to follow Amazon’s SEO playbook and become the default ranking ecommerce website.

Achieving this success can be done purely by focusing on on-page SEO without the need to build a brand and a backlink portfolio that rivals Amazon.

For those unfamiliar with mechanisms of SEO, there are essentially two streams of SEO tactics

  1. On-page SEO – This is anything to do with optimizing an actual page or website for maximum SEO visibility. Within this bucket will fall efforts such as the content of a page, metadata, internal links, URL/folder names,  and even things like images.
  2. Off-page SEO – A key component of Google’s algorithm is the quality and sometimes quantity of the links from external sites that point to a page or website. At a high level the better backlinks a page or website has the more authority the page has to rank in search.

On-page SEO teardown

Delving into just their on-page SEO, their tactics can be divided into four distinct areas which we will go through in detail.

  1. Content
  2. SEO site architecture
  3. Cross-linking
  4. Page layout

If you are following along with this process, make sure to log out of your Amazon account or open up an incognito window. Google only views the logged out version of the site, so all of Amazon’s SEO efforts are focused there.

Walmart beats on earnings in Q1, with U.S. e-commerce up by 37 percent

Walmart’s investments in e-commerce are paying off. The retailer today announced its U.S. e-commerce sales grew by 37 percent in the first quarter, largely thanks to its booming online grocery business and growth in both the home and fashion categories on Walmart.com.

The company also beat analyst estimates for the quarter, with earnings per share of $1.13 versus $1.02 expected, and revenue of $123.93 billion compared to estimates of $125.03 billion. U.S. same-store sales growth was 3.4 percent in the quarter, versus the expected 3.3 percent increase — making it the fourth consecutive quarter above 3 percent, and the best Q1 in 9 years.

Operating income, however, declined in the quarter, as strong sales from Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club stores were offset by the inclusion of Flipkart, the retailer said.

The company has been heavily investing in the key categories of home, fashion and grocery over the past several years as part of its efforts to better compete with Amazon and expand into categories where there’s still much room for online growth.

In Home, for example, Walmart last year launched a redesigned Home shopping experience on the web that highlighted furniture, home accessories and other decorative items, broken down by style categories. The updated site also had a more editorial feel with larger, magazine-like imagery and design tips written by in-house staff.

Later in the year, the full Walmart.com redesign rolled out, which put an increased emphasis on specialty shopping experiences across home and fashion — the latter featuring seasonal stories and fashion editorial to make buying an outfit feel much different from buying groceries or other household items. The fashion destination went upscale, as well, with a section dedicated to Lord & Taylor — the result of a partnership that made Walmart the new e-commerce home for the high-end retailer.

Meanwhile, Walmart has been expanding its online grocery business with an eye towards leveraging its thousands of brick-and-mortar storefronts across the U.S.

Instead of marking up prices like Instarcart does, Walmart lets customers order groceries online and pay the same price as they would in stores. Customers then drive the mile or two to their local Walmart and pick up their prepared and bagged groceries at a dedicated curbside pickup spot.

The pickup service is available at 2,450 Walmart locations while grocery delivery is offered through partners like Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire, Roadie, Postmates and Doordash at nearly 1,000 locations. The retailer plans to offer pickup at 3,100 locations and delivery at 1,600 by year-end, providing coverage to approximately 50 percent and nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population, respectively.

Other e-commerce investments in Q1 included the launched a new personalized baby registry and online pet pharmacy, the introduction of Walmart Voice Order through Google Assistant, and the addition of several exclusive brands online — including denim from Sofia Vergara, the MoDRN brand in the Home category, the Hello Bello brand in the Baby category with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, the Flower brand in the Home category with Drew Barrymore, and Bobbi Brown’s health and wellness line Evolution_18.

Walmart also partnered with Kidbox for personalized kids’ fashion through Walmart.com, and made investments to reach lower-income shoppers. On the latter front, it partnered with Affirm for alternative financing and began piloting the acceptance of SNAP for online groceries through a new USDA-backed program.

And just this week, Walmart announced a new NextDay delivery service which will offer one-day delivery of over 200,000 of the most popular items for one-day delivery.

“We’re changing to enable more innovation, speed and productivity, and we’re seeing it in our results,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “We’re especially pleased with the combination of comparable sales growth from stores and e-commerce in the U.S. Our team is demonstrating an ability to serve customers today while building new capabilities for the future, and I want to thank them for a strong start to the year.”

 

Mobile ticketing company TodayTix raises $73M in new funding

TodayTix, a mobile ticketing company that makes it easy and relatively affordable to go to Broadway shows and other live performances, is announcing a new $73 million round of funding led by private equity firm Great Hill Partners.

The company was founded in 2013, and it served initially as the mobile equivalent of New York’s TKTS booths for discounted, last-minute theater tickets. TodayTix says it’s now sold more than 4 million tickets, representing 8 percent of annual Broadway ticket sales and 4 percent for London’s West End.

Beyond that, co-founder and CEO Brian Fenty said that a little over 10 percent of the tickets sold now fall outside “theater and performing arts, narrowly defined,” covering things like comedy shows and experiential theater.

“I think to the consumer, we will be a holistic ecosystem to engage in the city’s art and experiences,” Fenty predicted. “However culture is defined … we want to be their partner in discovering those things.”

To do that, TodayTix will add more cities to its current list of 15 markets. Fenty said this expansion is driven by existing partnerships (like launching in Australia through its partnership with “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”) and by seeing where people are already downloading the TodayTix app. His ultimate goal is to be “geographically agnostic.”

Fenty also said the company will continue investing in the TodayTix Presents program, through which the company puts on its puts on its own shows (albeit at a much smaller scale than a Broadway production).

And of course he wants to improve the app itself, introducing more personalization and curation — Fenty pointed to Netflix and Amazon as models. After all, he said TodayTix is currently offering tickets to 297 shows in New York alone, so it needs to ways to “effectively guide people through that.”

“We’re actually a media company, with our own content and perspective — not on the quality of the shows, but to have a point of view on how users should and could engage with this content,” he said.

He added that those improvements will include more basic things, like the process of purchasing a ticket: “The hardest part is to complete the purchase in 30 seconds or less, as compared to the average ticketing platform, which is somewhere between 3 and 7 minutes … How we continue to squish that conversion?”

Fenty is also hoping to work more closely with show producers, providing them with data about which shows are selling, as well as helping them use data to find the most effective ways to promote themselves.

TodayTix says it’s raised a total of $90 million since it announced its Series B back in February 2016. Fenty told me the new round includes a direct investment in the company, as well as secondary purchases of TodayTix shares from previous investors.

“TodayTix is rapidly changing the way millennials and other consumers connect with live cultural experiences,” said Great Hill Managing Partner Michael Kumin in a statement. “We look forward to working with Brian, [co-founder] Merritt [Baer] and their talented management team to expand the Company’s product and service offerings and accelerate its push into new geographies.”

D2C underwear brand TomboyX raises $18 million from Craftory

TomboyX, a direct to consumer, gender-neutral underwear brand, has today announced the close of an $18 million Series B funding round led by Craftory. With this deal, Craftory becomes TomboyX’s majority shareholder.

TomboyX develops gender-neutral, size-inclusive underwear at a relatively affordable price point.

The company started when co-founder Fran Dunaway struggled to find herself a Robert Graham-style button-down shirt. Tomboy X originally started selling fun, dress shirts that fit all body types, and eventually transitioned to underwear and swimwear.

The D2C startup offers sizes from XS to 4XL; the classic TomboyX briefs start at $20/pair.

The company raised $4.3 million in Series A financing last year, which brings total funding to more than $25 million.

Here’s what co-founders Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez had to say in a prepared statement:

We are very excited to collaborate with the team at The Craftory as we continue in our mission to design inclusive and gender-neutral underwear for our diverse global audience. We are confident that their expertise in branding and consumer goods will complement our own creativity and disruption of traditional products.

As part of the deal, Craftory directors will join the board of directors alongside Pauline Brown, lead investor for TomboyX’s Series A round.

Walmart announces next-day delivery on 200K+ items in select markets

This month, Amazon announced it’s investing $800 million in its warehouses and delivery infrastructure in order to double the speed of Prime shipping by reducing it to only one day. Now Walmart is following suit with a one-day shipping announcement of its own. The rival retailer says it will begin to offer free, NextDay delivery on select Walmart .com orders over $35 — without a membership fee.

This offer will initially be available to customers only in Phoenix and Las Vegas beginning on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, and will then expand to customers in Southern California over the next few days. The rollout will then continue “gradually” over the months ahead, with a goal of reaching 75% of the U.S. population — including 40 of the top 50 U.S. metros — by year-end.

Today, Amazon Prime covers more than 100 million items, which are available for two-day shipping to Prime’s more than 100 million subscribers. To make an inventory of that size available for one-day shipping is a massive investment on Amazon’s part.

Walmart, on the other hand, is starting smaller. Its NexDay delivery will be available as a standalone, curated shopping experience where customers can browse up to 220,000 of the most frequently purchased items.

This includes things like diapers, electronics, toys and household needs, and soon more. Everything in the cart has to be NextDay-eligible and total more than $35 to qualify. The cut-off times for the order will vary by location, Walmart says. Orders will be delivered primarily by national carriers, and in some cases, regional carriers.

This more limited focus in terms of inventory (for now at least) makes NextDay more of a competitor to Target’s Restock than to Amazon one-day Prime ambitions, as — like Restock — it requires a $35 minimum order. Restock, though, has customers “filling a box” with items and is largely focused on day-to-day shopping. Meanwhile, Walmart’s NextDay selection is wider than Restock’s some 35,000 items. (However, ahead of Walmart’s announcement, Target pushed out news that its same-day “Drive Up” curbside service had now expanded to over 1,250 U.S. stores.)

Walmart’s focus on matching Amazon’s efforts — but with a different set of conditions and “without a membership fee” — is now par for the course.

For example, Walmart in early 2017 first announced it would begin to offer free, two-day shopping on more than 2 million items with no need for a membership — as long as orders totaled $35.00 or more. The retailer had been trialing such a sped-up shipping system for years — starting with a test of its answer to Prime back in 2015. Dubbed ShippingPass at the time, the program initially began with 1 million items and three-day delivery, then was lowered to two days while the number of eligible items doubled. 

This past October, Walmart expanded two-day shipping to its Marketplace sellers, as well.

Now, it’s focused on one-day. Walmart says this is not in response to Amazon’s news, but rather had plans already in progress.

“We can offer fast, convenient shipping options because we’ve built a network of fulfillment assets that are strategically located across the U.S. We’ve also done extensive work to ensure we have the right products in the right fulfillment centers based on where customers are located and what they’re ordering,” said president and CEO of Walmart E-Commerce, Marc Lore.

Lore had sold his e-commerce startup Jet.com to Walmart for $3 billion in 2016. While it lives on as a more urban-focused delivery service, its influence on Walmart’s broader e-commerce efforts — particularly around delivery logistics — is seen in these expanded efforts to improve delivery times that also reduce costs while keeping prices low for consumers. Jet, for example, had offered credits to consumers who bought their items from the same nearby warehouse. That’s not entirely different from what Walmart NextDay is doing.

As Lore explains, NextDay is affordable for Walmart.

“Our new NextDay delivery isn’t just great for customers, it also makes good business sense. Contrary to what you might think, it will cost us less – not more – to deliver orders the next day,” he says. “That’s because eligible items come from a single fulfillment center located closest to the customer. This means the order ships in one box, or as few as possible, and it travels a shorter distance via inexpensive ground shipping. That’s in contrast to online orders that come in multiple boxes from multiple locations, which can be quite costly.”

Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali suggests a bit more caution. She agrees that having another place to get overnight shipping is a win for consumers, but there could still be challenges.

“I think that makes sense theoretically, but whether or not they can make the economics work depends on the quality of the assortment and how many people actually use it. Also, I don’t know how easily it scales,” she says.

MailChimp’s Ben Chestnut on bootstrapping a startup to $700M in revenue

The well-known tech startup routine of coming up with an idea, raising money from VCs in increasing rounds as valuations continue to rise, and then eventually going public or getting acquired has been around for as long as the myth of Silicon Valley itself. But the evolution of MailChimp — a notable, bootstrapped outlier out of Atlanta, Georgia, that provides email and other marketing services to small businesses — tells a very different story of tech startup success.

As the company closes in on $700 million in annual revenues for 2019, it has no intention of letting up, or selling out: No outside funding, no plans for an IPO, and no to all the companies that have tried to acquire it. As it has grown, it has been profitable from day one.

This week, the company is unveiling what is probably its biggest product update since first starting to sell email marketing services 20 years ago: It’s launching a new marketing platform that features social media management, ad retargeting, AI-based business intelligence, domain sales, web development templates and more.

I took the opportunity to speak with its co-founder and CEO, Ben Chestnut — who started Mailchimp as a side project with two friends, Mark Armstrong and Dan Kurzius, in the trough of the first dot-com bust — on Mailchimp’s origins and plans for what comes next. The startup’s story is a firm example of how there is definitely more than one route to success in tech.


Ingrid Lunden: You’re launching a new marketing platform today, but I want to walk back a little first. This isn’t your first move away from email. We discovered back in March that you quietly acquired a Canadian e-commerce startup, LemonStand, just as you were parting ways with Shopify.

Ben Chestnut: We wanted to have a tool to help small business marketers do their initial selling. The focus is not multiple products. Just one. We’re not interested in setting up full-blown e-commerce carts. This is about helping companies sell one product in an Instagram ad with a buy button, and we felt that the people at LemonStand could help us with that.

Mailchimp expands from email to full marketing platform, says it will make $700M in 2019

Mailchimp, a bootstrapped startup out of Atlanta, Georgia, is known best as a popular tool for organizations to manage their customer-facing email activities — a profitable business that its CEO told TechCrunch has now grown to around 11 million customers, is on track for $700 million in revenue in 2019.

To help hit that number, Mailchimp is taking the wraps off a significant update aimed at catapulting it into the next level of business services. Beginning later this week, Mailchimp will start to offer a full marketing platform aimed at smaller organizations.

Going beyond the email services that it has been offering for 20 years — which alone has led to multiple acquisition offers (all rebuffed) as its valuation has crept up reportedly into the billions (depending on what multiple you use) — the new platform will feature technology to record and track customer leads, the ability to purchase domains and build sites, ad retargeting on Facebook and Instagram, social media management and business intelligence that leverages a new move in the artificial intelligence to provide recommendations to users on how and when to market to whom.

When the service goes live on Wednesday, Mailchimp also plans a pretty significant shift of its pricing into four tiers of free, $9.99/month, $14.99/month or $299/month (up from the current pricing of free, $10/month, $199/month) — with those fees scaling depending on usage and features.

(Existing paid customers maintain current pricing structure and features for the time being and can move to the new packages at any time, the company said. New customers will sign up to the new pricing starting May 15.)

The expansion is part of a longer-term strategic play to widen Mailchimp’s scope by building more services for the typically-underserved but collectively large small business segment. Even as multinationals like Amazon and other large companies continue to feel like they are eating up the mom-and-pop independent business model, SMBs continue to make up 48 percent of the GDP in the US.

And within that, marketing is one of those areas that small businesses might not have invested in much traditionally but are increasingly turning to as so much transactional activity has moved to digital platforms — be it smartphones, computers, or just the tech that powers the TV you watch or music you listen to.

In March, we reported that Mailchimp quietly acquired a small Shopify competitor called LemonStand to start to build more e-commerce tools for its users. And the new marketing platform is the next step in that strategy.

“We still see a big need for small businesses to have something like this,” Ben Chestnut, Mailchimp’s co-founder and CEO, said in an interview. Enterprises have a range of options when it comes to marketing tools, he added, “but small businesses don’t.” The mantra for many building tech for the SMB sector has traditionally been “dumbed down and cheap,” in his words. “We agreed that cheap was good, but not dumbed down. We want to empower them.”

The new services launch also comes at a time when an increasing number of companies are closing in on the small business opportunity, with e-commerce companies like Square, Shopify and PayPal also widening their portfolio of products. (These days, Square is a Mailchimp partner, Shopify is not.)

Marketing is something that Mailchimp had already been dabbling with over the last two years — indeed, customer-facing email services is essentially a form of marketing, too. Other launches have included a Postcards service, offering companies very simple landing pages online (about 10 percent of Mailchimp’s customers do not have their own web sites, Chestnut said), and a tool for companies to create Google, Facebook and Instagram ads.

Mailchimp itself has a big marketing presence already: it says that daily, more than 1.25 million e-commerce orders are generated through Mailchimp campaigns; over 450 million e-commerce orders were made through Mailchimp campaigns in 2018; and its customers have sold over $250 million in goods through multivariate + A/B campaigns run through Mailchimp.

There are clearly a lot of others vying to be the go-to platform for small businesses to do their business — “Google, Facebook, a lot of the big players see the magic and are moving to the space more and more,” Chestnut said — but Mailchimp’s unique selling point — or so it hopes — is that it’s the platform that has no vested interests in other business areas, and will therefore be as focused as the small businesses themselves are. That includes, for example, no upcharging regardless of the platform where you choose to run a campaign.

“We are Switzerland,” Chestnut said.

Amazon offers employees $10K and 3 months’ pay to start their own delivery businesses

Following news of Amazon’s plans to reduce Prime shipping down to one day, the company this morning announced an expansion of its Delivery Service Partner program, which now includes a new incentive that encourages existing Amazon employees to start their own package delivery company. The partner program, first announced last year, includes access to Amazon’s delivery technology, hands-on training, and a suite of other discounts for assets and services like vehicle leasing and insurance. For employees, it now includes a $10,000 incentive, too.

The retailer says it will fund the startup costs up to $10,000 as well as the equivalent of three months of the former employee’s last gross salary, to give the employees the ability to get their new business off the ground without worrying about a break in pay.

Amazon had said last year that people were able to start their own delivery business with only $10,000. At the time, military veterans were able to get that $10K reimbursed, as Amazon was investing a million into a program that funded their startup costs.

The new incentive to do the same for any employee — and offer them three months’ pay on top of that — is a much broader commitment. And it’s one that makes sense given Amazon’s lofty ambitions to double the speed of its shipments.

Employees — or any other entrepreneur — who wants to become a delivery partner, are able to lease customized blue delivery vans with the Amazon smile logo on the side, and take advantage of other discounts including fuel, insurance, branded uniforms and more.

Before the launch of the partner program, Amazon had relied on its Amazon Flex crowdsourced workforce to help it deliver packages to help it reduce costs. But these gig workers often faced too much uncertainty with regard to their pay because of things like fluctuating gas prices that cut into profits, lack of insurance, and the general, logistic challenges that come from trying to deliver packages from a smaller, unbranded personal vehicle.

Delivery partners, meanwhile, could earn as much as $300,000 in annual profit by growing their fleet to 40 vehicles, Amazon claims. The company said last year it expected that hundreds of small business owners will come to hire tens of thousands of drivers across the U.S.

That is already happening. Since the launch of the program in June 2018, over 200 small businesses have hired “thousands” of local drivers, Amazon says this morning. It expects to add hundreds more small businesses this year, as well.

The incentive to employees also comes at a time when Amazon is increasing automation in its warehouses that will potentially put some workers out of jobs. A report from Reuters this morning noted that Amazon is rolling out machines that will automate a job that’s currently held by thousands of workers: boxing customer orders. Some of these workers could be candidates for the delivery partner program now, given they may be looking for what’s next — before they’re laid off.

For Amazon, the funds it’s investing today to help employees transition to this new business could be recouped over time as the retailer reduces its reliance on USPS, UPS, and FedEx by shifting more of its business over to its own delivery network where it has control. In the near-term, however, all of Amazon’s delivery partners will benefit from its plans to spend $800 million to make 1-day shipping the new Prime default.

The employee incentives are available in the U.S., and now the U.K., and Spain.

India’s Locus raises $22 million to expand its logistics management business

Locus, an Indian startup that uses AI to help businesses map out their logistics, has raised $22 million in Series B funding to expand its operations in international markets.

The financing round for the four-year-old startup was led by Falcon Edge Capital and Tiger Global Management . Existing investors Exfinity Venture Partners and Blume Ventures also participated in the round. The startup has raised $29 million to date, Nishith Rastogi, co-founder and CEO of Locus, told TechCrunch in an interview.

Locus works with companies that operate in FMCG, logistics, and e-commerce spaces. Some of its clients include Tata Group companies, Myntra, BigBasket, Lenskart, and Bluedart. It helps these clients automate their logistics workload — tasks such as planning, organizing, transporting and tracking of inventories, and finding the best path to reach a destination — that have traditionally required intensive human labor.

“Say a Lenskart representative is visiting a house or an office to offer an eye checkup, and suddenly two more people there are interested in getting their eyes checked. The representative could attend these two new potential clients, or wrap things up with the first client and take care of his or her next appointment,” said Rastogi.

Locus looks at a client’s past data, identifies patterns, and automates these kind of decisions on a large scale. In an example shared earlier with TechCrunch, Rastogi talked about how Locus had built a scanner for ecommerce companies for measuring products.

Rastogi said he will use the fresh capital to develop products and expand Locus in Southeast Asian and North American markets. The startup says half of its 110 people workforce outside of India. Half of the IP it has built and the revenue it generates comes from its team outside of India.

He said the startup has spent the recent quarters studying these international markets, and has secured some anchor clients to expand the business. Locus is operationally profitable already and any additional capital goes into expanding its business, he added.

The logistics market in India has long been riddled with challenges. A growing number of startups, including BlackBuck — which raised $150 million last week — have emerged in recent years to tackle these problems.

The new funding also illustrates Tiger Global Management’s new strategy for the Indian market. The VC fund, which has invested in B2C businesses Flipkart and Ola in India, has made a number of investments in B2B startups in recent months. Last month, it invested $90 million in agri-tech supply chain startup Ninjacart, and weeks later, it gave cloud-based solutions provider Zenoti $50 million.