The Ravi Gururaj-founded firm will use the funds to deploy smart lockers all over the country to make package deliveries easier and convenient
Internet of Things (IoT)-based last-mile delivery startup QikPod has secured US$9 million in funding from a slew of investors, including Accel Partners and Flipkart.
Other investors who participated in this round are e-commerce logistics startup Delhivery and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn.
The Bangalore-based startup was founded by serial investor and entrepreneur Ravi Gururaj. QikPod, which is yet to launch operations, aims to solve the pain point of people not being home to receive their e-commerce deliveries, through a network of fully-automated, self-serving and smart locker systems.
Secured with a one-time password that the courier and the recipient input into a pre-installed keypad on the locker, QuikPod aims to ensure safe delivery of the package while cutting commute time.
According to Gururaj, the capital will be used to deploy the first instalment of lockers across the country, which can be accessed through the web, mobile app and an API interface, thereby creating a standard platform for the last-mile delivery of packages.
These smart lockers can be set up in varying sizes starting from a low-footprint 10-compartment column and expanding all the way to encompass large parcel rooms. Locker columns will be around 4×6 feet to occupy optimum space and will be placed in strategic locations like the lobbies of apartment buildings, reception floors of offices and in easily-accessible places like grocery stores and local coffee shops.
“QikPod is poised to create greater consumer convenience and substantially reduce last-mile delivery costs along with the attendant benefit of cutting carbon emissions through shortened and fewer delivery routes,” said Gururaj.
The QikPod network and its attendant service will be available to both e-commerce companies and private couriers. Initially, the service will be free.
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