Kevin Zhang is accelerating the expansion of his Singapore-headquartered logistics startup Inteluck across Southeast Asia, having established a foothold in the Philippines in the past eight years.
Originally from China, Zhang started his tech-driven logistics company back in 2014 after traveling to the Philippines to evaluate an investment opportunity his family was considering. While his family didn’t pursue the investment, Zhang saw a business opportunity in the archipelago’s fragmented logistics industry.
Today, he is among this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia honorees in the Industry, Manufacturing & Energy category who are using technology to improve various industries, including the logistics and supply chain sector, which has been booming during the Covid-19 online-ordering surge.
Inteluck initially provided solutions to help logistics companies track their fleet of vehicles. It later started supplying refrigerated trucks to deliver cakes for Filipino bakery Goldilocks. Today, it helps its Philippine customers book delivery trucks on demand from third-party logistics providers registered on Inteluck’s digital platform. Clients include Coca-Cola, Nestle and billionaire Lucio Tan’s Asia Brewery.
According to Zhang, Inteluck expects revenue to more than triple to as much as $70 million this year from $20 million in 2021, bolstered by contributions from the Philippines and Thailand–a new market which the company entered last year. “We want to be the biggest tech-based B2B logistics company in Southeast Asia,” Zhang said. The company aims to expand into Vietnam and Indonesia next year after raising $15 million in Series B funding from investors including East Ventures and Creo Capital.
In neighboring Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, Karan Bhardwaj founded the last-mile logistics firm RaRa Delivery, which offers instant and same-day delivery in the greater Jakarta area. Unlike other players doing one-to-one deliveries, the company uses real-time batching technology to do many-to-many. Its clients include Indonesia’s leading e-commerce and consumer brands like Blibli, Kopi Kenangan and Halodoc. In 2021, RaRa Delivery bagged $3 million in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital India and East Ventures. Before RaRa Delivery, Bhardwaj managed Unilever’s end-to-end e-commerce supply chain across Southeast Asia and Australia.
In Japan, Takamasa Suchi and Kyohei Yashima founded Zip Infrastructure in 2018. The startup is working to commercialize self-propelled, battery-powered gondolas using cables to transport people and freight in urban areas, with construction costing about one-fifth of that of a monorail. Zip has secured $1.8 million (¥220 million) in funding, including ¥190 million in April, and inked an agreement to study the feasibility of a gondola system near Tokyo.
And over in Pakistan, Muhammad Saad cofounded BridgeLinx to help manufacturers and exporters in Pakistan move goods more efficiently through a marketplace that connects them with truckers and private fleets. BridgeLinx also provides technology solutions to ensure document validation, timely pickups and cargo safety. In September, just nine months after its launch, the Lahore-headquartered startup raised $10 million in the largest seed round in Pakistan, led by Harry Stebbings’ 20 VC, Buckley Ventures and Indus Valley Capital.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Burgos.