WayFr: 100X.VC Investment Thesis



 


Introduction

Close to 5 million SME Freight businesses in the United States do not have an efficient platform to find truck providers and manage freight bookings for their  recurring business requirements. In India, Europe, Middle East and other marketstoo, small and medium freight businesses face multiple challenges to  manage their recurring orders efficiently. Coupled with logistical issues, business owners also encounter difficulties in simultaneous communication and monetary activities like financing and advancing. These inefficiencies subsequently result in hampering overall operations of the truck providers as well as the businesses seeking these services. 

Today, these problems have led to the existence of numerous truck loading solutions e.g. load boards who are doing their bit to solve some of the major issues. But there is a catch, most of these services are functioning as independent service providers, so the customer has to juggle between platforms for different activities. On the other end, business owners rely on their network of truck providers to find trucks for their regular needs. Only when they fail within their network do they use external platforms for each of their loads. It takes at least two weeks to a few months to create a network of truckers sufficient for their business. Existing load boards help truckers and businesses to get matched only for live orders, so one ends up with a new trucker most of the time and again the cycle repeats. This leaves a lot of room for errors and disturbances in a process which should be otherwise seamless. 

With his seasoned experience in the logistics business and a clear vision to unify these processes for truckers, Poorna Reddy co-founded WayFr with Abhiram Deshpande. WayFr is a mobile application that instantly enables shippers and freight brokers to create their personalized load-board (load posting platform) that they can use to receive price quotes and book trucks within their network of carriers. Brokers and shippers can additionally leverage WayFr registered carrier networks and social media groups to find trucks from outside of their own network. It provides a networking platform for SME Shippers & Freight Brokers to instantly connect, communicate and manage freight booking with truckers. 

While working in Amazon’s truck bidding business and from being one of Blackbuck’s initial employees, Poorna figured out that unifying these services on a single platform along with additional facilities like financing was the key to bridge the gap between small-time truckers and SMEs. Today, WayFr successfully matches carriers and customers on a recurring basis in the US. WayFr matches people on preferences along with a communication portal, sharing of documents, proofs, payment, and updates. 

WayFr, therefore, positions itself as a LinkedIn for these SMEs and trucking businesses, It is giving them a platform to communicate, share documents and proofs, make payments and stay updated with their entire freight operations. It is bringing convenience and efficiency to the existing chaos. 

Small businesses use different platforms for different tools, paying upto $4000-5000 p.a., but with WayFr they end up paying only around $1000-2000 p.a. In addition to freight management, the team at WayFr is working towards making financing an extremely viable option for these businesses. At present, borrowing rates end up close to around 24% p.a. WayFr is in the plans to identify good credit worthy businesses on their portal which will be  recommended for borrowing at normal bank lending rates. In terms of advances too, it is working towards helping customers to dodge high transaction fees (~2.7-4%)/ transaction by creating an in-house wallet system. Currently, the team includes 5 members inclusive of a product head, full time developers and a UI/UX personnel, all based out Hyderabad, India.

 

Market Opportunity

Transportation costs sum up to 5-15% of a country’s GDP in general. This, on a broader level, includes various avenues in the transport industry, spot market (‘on the spot’ freight services) being one. There are close to 3 million shippers in the United States with 75,000 brokers. With this and another 1.75 million truckers, WayFr is met with a potential user base larger than 5 million users in the States. In monetary terms, this industry is valued at $250 billion, growing at a 5% CAGR. In India too, the next stop for WayFr, the spot market makes up to 30% of the transportation business.

The inherent problems of the freight industry are common across multiple countries. With customization for local demographics, WayFr aims to provide a global solution. The team is, thus, looking to geographically expand in the Indian market in the immediate future and then approach Europe and LATAM.

100X.VC Thesis

WayFr provides an alternative to the black box like freight booking apps like UberFreight which are unable to provide much control, flexibility or choice regarding who the business or the transporters can partner with. Today, it has developed into a unified platform with automations for SME freight businesses to manage their daily operations 10x more efficiently at 10x lower cost. 

The founder has single-handedly scaled a business previously in the American logistics space. And with his experience from giants like Amazon and Blackbuck, his understanding of the logistics ecosystem is immense and gives us, at 100X.VC, confidence in his ability to execute. 100X.VC believes with Poorna’s domain expertise and network, this can be a third player between manual booking of freight, and automated options like UberFreight. 

Conclusion 

With the right mix of seasoned experience and identification of a huge gap to fill in the industry, therefore providing a massive opportunity, we believe that the WayFr team is on the right track to leave a remarkable mark in the freight management industry. We wish them all the luck and are excited for the journey ahead!


- 100X.VC Team

Published on: September 25, 2021