Brazilian startup Loggi is moving logistics from the mainframe era to the cloud.
By addressing a highly inefficient segment, the company got the attention of global investors. Last June SoftBank’s Vision Fund injected $100 million and Loggi is now valued at $1 billion.
We recently caught up with co-founder Arthur Debert. In our interview he explains how Loggi is transforming an old-fashioned sector, dealing with talent shortage and attracting investment. Arthur also shared about his career transition from film making to software engineering before co-founding Loggi.
BayBrazil: Is Brazil’s poor logistic infrastructure a challenge or an opportunity for Loggi’s business?
Arthur: Both, definitely. It’s a challenge, and there lies the opportunity. There are several layers of inefficiency that result in a terrible delivery experience for consumers. Technology allows us to leapfrog many of these obstacles with massive efficiency gains. Just like some countries never built a landline network going straight to cell phones, Loggi is doing that for logistics. Creating an efficient logistics network on top of unreliable parts is very challenging, but it can be done, and it unlocks an enormous amount of value.
BayBrazil: Loggi has attracted global investors such as Softbank, Qualcomm Ventures, Dragoneer. What makes them interested?
Arthur: In one hand the sheer size of the opportunity and the vision to fulfil it. Logistics is a very old-fashioned sector and shaped by the high-CAPEX, long-term investments. That’s why a technology company can change the perspective and create a very different vision.
The other part of this puzzle is the fact that we’ve always had good economics, even at a small scale. Brazil was historically an expensive market for raising capital, and that forced us to become efficient. We could never throw the “we’ll figure it out once we’re big” card.
This combination: huge opportunity, high technology lever and good unit economics made Loggi a strong investment candidate and that’s why we’re fortunately to have such a stellar investor lineup with us.
BayBrazil: Did anything change after the milestone of becoming a unicorn?
Arthur: Besides the flood of weird LinkedIn messages (cryogenics, anyone?) not much. Having the capital to fuel talent acquisition and expansion is great, and we’re jumping in on the opportunity. But having the Unicorn moniker hasn’t change much, we’re still moving along with our mission, same as before.
BayBrazil: How is the relationship with investors that also invests in your competitors?
Arthur: We don’t see ourselves as having direct competitors. We’re a logistics platform, an AWS of the real world, and pretty unique in that sense. That said, there are some overlaps with other companies in our investor’s portfolio. At times this means we can work together (in fact a few of these will hire us for their deliveries), sometimes not. We’re very excited about the amount of capital entering Brazil, it’s a game changer for the ecosystem. The more the merrier.
BayBrazil: Since you started your career in a different industry, how did you become a tech professional?
Arthur: I’ve actually worked in a number of industries, but the transition between them always felt very natural. From film making I go into special effects. That led me into design, web-design, and from there software engineering. In a way, it always felt like solving roughly the same types of problems with different tools. But once I dove into the technology world, it was pretty obvious that’s where I wanted to be at. The sheer impact and speed of technology is second to none.