RIYADH: Any items supply firm could have a sinking feeling on the considered short-term storage, with most warehouse operators insisting on minimal volumes and contracts of a minimum of just a few months.
Logexa, an internet logistics platform launched by Husam Sendi and his co-founders in September 2021, turned the issue on its head.
The corporate was born when the issue interfered with Sendi’s first shot at entrepreneurship.
After graduating from Oregon State College with a level in provide chain logistics, he minimize his enamel in the identical sector as a provide chain supervisor, first with FMCG distributor Unilever after which with Ohio-based industrial packaging agency Greif Worldwide.
With that hands-on expertise, Sendi launched his first startup in 2013, specializing in repackaging promotional retail gadgets, reminiscent of a free bowl with a packet of noodles. His greatest consumer was his ex-employer Unilever, and that contract folded up when Unilever in the reduction of its operations as a consequence of fallout from Brexit.
Sendi then moved into consultancy for transportation firms and, from there, expanded to storage companies and options for his earlier co-packaging purchasers. Nonetheless, the enterprise hit the wall when purple beetles contaminated his warehouse.
“I believed that was the top of my enterprise and profession,” stated Sendi.
Options in retailer
However by no means one to say die, he continued to serve his remaining purchasers via his community of warehousing associates. That, in flip, gave him the concept to focus on storage options. Nonetheless, he was cautious of dedicating assets to warehouse area or human assets, each of which might pile up crippling overheads when a enterprise goes south.
“However in 2019, I heard about digital transformation,” Sendi stated. “I talked to some individuals and explored the concept of digitalizing the present guide warehousing course of. How a few program that accepts orders, collects fee and diverts orders to the warehouse?”
His thought shortly gained the popularity of outstanding startup accelerators: first King Abdulaziz College, with a prize of SR10,000 ($2,665) after which the Taqadam program of King Abdullah College of Science and Know-how, with a grant of SR525,000.
Sendi’s fledgling startup was bolstered by the addition of Husam Sabano, an outdated Unilever colleague with a tutorial background in industrial and programs engineering, and Khalid Nagadi, who had a doctorate in industrial engineering and over a decade’s expertise in course of administration. Each of them got here on board as co-founders.
Thus Logexa was born in March 2021, with Sendi as CEO, Sabano as CTO and Khalid Nagadi as COO.
In truth, the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As a result of everyone was confined to their properties, the corporate averted the everyday startup prices of hiring office-based workers.
“I might say we have been fortunate that we didn’t should mobilize. We have been all caught at dwelling, and all of the work was on-line,” he stated.
Sendi invested the KAUST grant into tech growth and branding. The corporate was primarily based on a easy premise: aggregating pallet areas by way of tie-ups with warehouse operators, whereby it might provide short-term storage options to any entity that wants it — a enterprise mannequin often known as third-party logistics.
“We determined to outsource your complete operation, so we’ve zero property,” defined Sendi.
Logexa is an on-demand logistics platform. Many warehousing suppliers have an issue filling their areas. However they don’t wish to cope with small and medium enterprises that contain an excessive amount of follow-up and chasing invoices.
“Many SMEs wouldn’t have entry to correct warehousing as a result of they lack the quantity. Nor are they good at negotiating charges. Even when they accomplish that, they are going to be dedicated to long-term contracts, which may be very pricey.
“We serve individuals primarily based on their wants — individuals with overflow challenges, small volumes, or small companies who can not negotiate offers however require storage options at a excessive commonplace — via our on-line platform. It’s a win-win for the warehouse operators and our purchasers,” he stated.
Logexa is now energetic in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Khamis Mushait, Qassim and Rabigh, registering a gentle progress of 30 p.c month over month, beginning with 24 pallet positions to over 2,700 right now.
“We measure our efficiency on three features: variety of pallets we retailer, income and the variety of clients,” added Sendi.
The corporate achieved $40,000 in income in March, $30,000 in April and $100,000 in Might. When it comes to purchasers, they began with 4 and now have 75.
The corporate goals to additional develop when it comes to companies, branching out into transport and last-mile supply, and geographically, with plans to launch in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa, amongst different territories.
The corporate’s speedy progress, coupled with its sturdy enterprise mannequin, has attracted vital funding. Their first funding spherical, in September 2021, introduced in $300,000 from Riyadh’s Seedra Ventures, with an additional comfortable dedication of $1.3 million from an undisclosed supply in a second spherical that will probably be closing in June.
Sendi sees Saudi Arabia’s present enterprise local weather as superb for additional growth.
“Logexa allows each SMEs and enormous firms to have entry to fast and versatile options,” he stated. “Saudi desires to change into the logistics hub of the world, and we’ve a digital answer that can assist clients adapt whereas including nice worth to Imaginative and prescient 2030.”