While the global logistics market is worth trillions of dollars, many organisations rely on legacy software and have limited IT capacity, resulting in the waste of valuable resources (time and money). 7bridges is the centralized logistics management platform that helps organisations build agile, smart supply chains. 7bridges is powered by its proprietary software L.E.O (Logistics Engine Optimization), which uses AI to generate the optimal outcome on every shipment by determining the best-suited dispatch site, route, whether the order should be consolidated (or not), the carrier, and even packaging. L.E.O helps businesses save up to 50% on their direct costs. 7bridges takes two weeks for full integration of its platform into an organization’s existing stack and clients have the option to choose pricing based on a percentage of savings that the platform delivers, essentially allowing the software to pay for itself.
London TechWatch interviewed CPO and Cofounder Matei Beremski to learn more about how the 7bridges platform is transforming supply chains.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised Seed funding from Crane Venture Partners and LocalGlobe, in total the round was $3.4M.
Tell us about your product or service.
The 7bridges platform unleashes the power of logistics. It’s powered by smart technology that enables businesses to transform their outdated, rules-based logistics processes into an adaptive, automated system.
All of the tools are accessed via a single, intuitive user portal. It’s simple to use, increases data visibility and control across a business, and helps teams significantly increase productivity and efficiency.
At the heart of our platform is our A.I technology – “L.E.O” – that continuously adapts to change, and generates the best outcome on every shipment our customers make. L.E.O ensures that our customers can enjoy logistics resilience and business continuity whatever the future holds (whether it’s another global health crisis, a large-scale weather event, or simply a change in consumer delivery preferences).
What inspired the start of 7bridges?
Philip Ashton, CEO and my cofounder, had spent time working at a specialty logistics provider and saw first-hand the challenges that companies face with their logistics. Money and resources were being wasted consistently by organisations of all sizes and across all industries, as they attempted to wrestle their supply chains into an efficient state.
He saw that there was a huge opportunity to disrupt logistics and reduce the waste inherent in operations across all sorts of business, by utilising automation and machine learning technology.
How is 7bridges different?
Currently, most businesses use multiple tools and systems to run their logistics operations – many of which are not fully digitised (even in large enterprises). This is problematic, as it’s hard to gather insightful data from disparate systems, and it’s even harder to make strategic changes! You only have to look at the problems experienced by organisations during the COVID-19 crisis to see how challenging it’s been to adapt supply chains to things like border closures, staff illness, and shock in demand/supply.
7bridges is different because it’s the last integration that businesses require to future-proof their logistics and deliver scalable, sustainable, and profitable enterprise growth. There’s one UI, to replace all the disparate systems. The technology is inherently flexible and uses AI technology to adapt and flex traditionally fixed rules to the current operational environment. It offers enhanced transparency into logistics performance and costs.
On top of all of this, we’re currently saving our customers 50% on their direct costs!
How does your platform help customers save up to 50% on their direct costs?
We optimise every step of an organisation’s logistics. This starts with an audit of their current carrier contracts – our smart tech analyses spend and shows where the most value would be reached by deploying L.E.O. in their logistics. L.E.O is the key part of our offering – our A.I – which is constantly optimising on every shipment that’s made. Each time an order is received, L.E.O reviews a vast array of internal business data and considers the external logistics landscape. It then decides the best dispatch site, route, whether the order should be consolidated (or not), the carrier, and packaging for the order. The savings come from numerous micro, real-time decisions that reduce waste on a large scale in aggregate.
Additionally, our real-time tracking and returns system helps reduce the loss of stock and increase customer satisfaction. Finally, our technology continually reviews logistics invoices and automatically detects errors (this alone saves 5% on average as our customers are able to recoup revenue).
What market is 7bridges targeting and how big is it?
We’re addressing the part of the market which focuses on logistics services (outsourced parcels, LTL, warehousing, etc.), valued at approximately £2.2T. We’re primarily building for medium-sized enterprises that move goods across multiple sites and countries (but eventually, we’d like to transform the entire space!)
What’s your business model?
We run a subscription-based model for our SaaS logistics platform, including offering a gain-share option (where instead of a set fee, we only charge for a proportion of the costs that our customers have saved).
What was the funding process like?
We targeted the top UK and European VC houses that we felt would be a good fit based on their investment thesis and the business we are building. Many pitches and interviews later, we landed investment with Crane Ventures and LocalGlobe who are a strong complementary partnership and bring invaluable expertise and insight to our team.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Logistics is a large and convoluted space that can be difficult to dissect. We had to be clear about where we fit in and how we are fundamentally different from what’s out in the market. Communicating this took practice but we found it a very useful process to hone in on the value of our product and validate our approach to market.
Communicating this took practice but we found it a very useful process to hone in on the value of our product and validate our approach to market.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
We can’t speak for our investors, but we’ve been told that our first-hand experience in the industry, expertise in big data and building enterprise software, and our passion for problem-solving played a part!
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
- Continue to accelerate our growth and help customers in the UK, Europe, and the USA recover rapidly in the wake of COVID-19, particularly in the retail and medtech space
- Double the size of our ecosystem of world-class logistics partners
- Expand our AI and software engineering team to meet the demand we’re seeing
What advice can you offer companies in London that do not have a fresh
injection of capital in the bank?
It’s challenging in the current climate, but the need for innovation is higher now than ever. Spend time focusing on truly understanding your customers and their pain points. This can be done with few resources and lead to a greater chance of success down the line, and when the market appetite returns, you’ll be in a good position to capitalise on it. Finally, if you’re able to quantify the value your product delivers in detail that’s worth its weight in gold. It’ll give you confidence in what you’re building and considerably improve your sales efforts.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Until now, our primary focus has been developing the product. Now, we’re currently ramping up our commercial efforts. We’ve just hired a Head of Growth and Head of Marketing, and are looking forward to taking our product to a wider audience.
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