Sending a parcel abroad could be one exorbitant affair, let alone the issues one generally faces with the weight of the package and the time taken for its delivery.
Here’s a startup which has identified this problem, and wants to resolve it with the help of technology.
Founded in November 2015 by Deep Malhotra, along with Rahul Basu, Mayukh Basu & Shikha Pandey, who joined the company later, BECK Technology Ventures Pvt.Ltd is a Mumbai-based startup that focuses on simplifying global logistics requirements through technology. Its product, BECK Friends is a global peer-to-peer logistics marketplace which enables people to send anything anywhere by leveraging on their trusted network. Similarly, to the ones who volunteer to deliver the parcel, this platform offers an opportunity to earn while they travel.
For example, if someone wishes to send a jacket from India to their daughter living in France, they can simply log on to the website using their Facebook login and place a request. The platform then gives an approximate fare estimate based on its algorithm. From the other end, a traveller taking the same route can accept the request, and the two can connect and mutually decide on the price.
The company also facilitates a service called BECK INSTANT which is currently live in Mumbai only. It enables a user to send anything upto 7 kgs anywhere in the city on the same day.
Key Problem Addressed by the Startup
“Logistics, being one of the most promising growth sectors in the world today, is yet very complex for the end user. We are here to simplify it by disrupting the way people send anything anywhere. We are leveraging on the C2C social platform enabling the people engaging on the platform to control the price mutually”, maintained Deep.
Adding further, he said, to send anything anywhere is always tedious and confusing and the company’s goal is to solve this problem by simplifying the process through technology, and also in the process, economize on time consumption, make it more convenient and create an opportunity for users to earn quick bucks.
It is a social platform where people can signup with their existing Facebook profiles. Once a sender’s request is accepted by a traveler, the platform connects them by giving them access to the other person’s contact details. While a person puts in his request to deliver a package, its algorithm throws up a fare estimate based on variables like urgency, weight, volume, distance etc. This is just an estimate for the sender to better negotiate the price with the traveler and they can choose or deny to abide by the same.
“The technology being handled by the Co-Founders has given us the edge to improvise and adapt on a daily basis. It is very user friendly and a lot of effort has gone in keeping it so”, said Deep.
What Security Measures does the Company Take to Ensure the Safety of the Parcel? How does it Verify the Identity of the Person who Volunteers to Deliver the Parcels?
In BECK Instant , once your request is accepted by the rider and he picks up your parcel, you can actually track the rider real time on the app. Hence, at any point in time you know where the rider is with your parcel, claims the team.
In BECK Friends, the team said that it is tying up with a third party for verifying every profile being registered on the platform. The same would kick in at the beginning May 2016, once they have a critical number of signups on the website. Currently, the profiles are being monitored internally by the team themselves.
For BECK Instant delivery, the company charges Rs.100 for first 5 kms and Rs.10 per km for every additional km.
For BECK Friends, the startup is currently focussing only on signups and claims to be seeing several revenue streams for the near future. The simplest being, charging a convenience fee. “We currently are not focussed or worried about the monetisation. Once we have people hooked on to the platform and understand the value of the service, it is the user who will lead us to the revenue model”, stated one of the co-founders.
With BECK Instant, the company claims to be hitting a number of 85-90 deliveries in a day.
For BECK Friends, it is looking forward to have over 30,000 signups in the next 45 days.
The company is currently bootstrapped. But it is looking to raise $3 million in funding with right investor partner on board to expand on technology & user acquisition to achieve its vision faster.
Scope and Future Plans
Elaborating on the scope and future plans of Beck Technology, Deep Malhotra stated: “Logistics business is one of the biggest industry in the world with over $4 trillon riding on it. The future plans are to keep simplifying logistics for the users through technology. We launched BECK Instant in November and by March end we had a global product in the form of BECK Friends. That is what we want to continue doing. Improvise, expand and simplify through technology. Technology in communication shrunk the world, we want to shrink it further by technology in logistics.”
While Peer to Peer delivery service or outsourced shipping has already caught up pretty fast abroad with companies like Nimber, PeerShip and Shipizy, in India the concept is still very new. It will be interesting to see how this trend bends the logistics market in the country, as it has serious potential to pose as a much more affordable alternative to traditional delivery services.
Nevertheless, one can not deny the risks that could be associated with P2P delivery services. Businesses therefore, must come up with an advanced way to insure the parcels, and guarantee its safety.
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