Route planning seems to be a problem for large logistics companies like Amazon, FedEx and UPS, but in reality it is something that every small business deals with more than a few mobile workers. OptimoRoute, which announced today that it has won a $ 6.5 million Series A round led by Prelude Ventures, addresses this very issue. The service was developed by a team of former Google and Yelp engineers and allows companies to set their specific restrictions. Daily routes are then automatically created for your drivers, regardless of whether they are delivering or cleaning pools.
What sets OptimiRoute apart from some competitors in this area are not only the often significantly lower prices, but also the mobile experience of drivers and customers, which includes live tracking and ETAs, as well as the possibility to change routes in real time if necessary. With OptimoRoute, companies can plan specific days of the week or up to five weeks in advance. The company is currently testing a pick-up and delivery system for passengers and goods, as well as support for long-haul routes lasting several days.
As the company's co-founder and CEO, Marin Šarić, told me, route optimization is obviously a popular academic problem. "On the one hand, you have these academic problems that are very conceptual and minimalist," he said. "And then, in the commercial realm, you have software that we think runs algorithms that were well known in the previous century. You literally know that there are even things from the 80s." […] At OptimoRoute, we really care about the real constraints of creating an effective schedule. "
OptimoRoute takes into account a number of variables (how much material can fit in a van, hourly wages, skills required for a particular repair, etc.) and allows companies to choose different priorities for optimizing their routes.
"We really focus on making this technology available to everyone, and this is something that experienced logistics managers appreciate because they can focus on issues they want to solve instead of having to hiccup with the software," said Šarić.
OptimoRoute currently has approximately 800 customers, from small businesses to large energy companies such as Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, who use the service to manage the routes of more than 300 maintenance engineers. By reducing the mileage employees have to drive, users can not only increase the productivity of their employees, but also, as Šarić noted, reduce their overall carbon footprint.
The team spent a lot of time developing the basic algorithms that power the service. However, the team expected many of its users to be sophisticated logistics managers, but it turned out that small and medium-sized companies also had a great demand.
"Prelude is pleased to support OptimoRoute in expanding its reach and developing its offering for a wide range of mobile workers," said Victoria Beasley, partner of Prelude Ventures , "We firmly believe that OptimoRoute will have an enormous impact on the route optimization market. This saves time, money and resources and at the same time reduces the carbon footprint for the many different customers."