DispatchTrack, a last-mile logistics technology company, announced on Tuesday that it has received a $144 million growth investment led by Spectrum Equity, a growth equity firm that specializes in partnering with software, internet and information services businesses.
It is the first time the 10-year-old business has taken on any outside funding, co-founder and CEO Satish Natarajan told FreightWaves. “We bootstrapped it,” he said.
Natarajan founded the Silicon Valley-headquartered DispatchTrack with his wife, Shailu Satish, after they became frustrated with the waiting, poor communication and overall inefficiency they experienced with home deliveries.
The couple has built market share methodically over the past decade, providing an array of small and large businesses — furniture, appliance retailers, grocers, food and beverage, and logistics providers — with an end-to-end visibility and connectivity platform. Today DispatchTrack claims around 1,200 customers across the globe, according to Natarajan, having recently expanded its footprint to include Taiwan, India and Australia.
Shaped by Amazon and its fast-shipping guarantees, the last-mile delivery market has changed dramatically since the founding of DispatchTrack, Natarajan said. “Ten years ago, we used to say: ‘We’ll be there tomorrow.’ Fast forward, now we’re telling vendors, ‘Can you make it between 12:30 and 12:45?’”
Continuing that theme, Natarajan said a decade ago, if someone called twice, “we would say: ‘Stop spamming me.’” Today, people want to know every last detail about where the shipment is and when it will arrive.
“The nature of expectations have so much changed,” he said.
DispatchTrack manages heightened expectations by connecting physical storefronts, warehouses, drivers and end customers. Its platform includes modular tools for self-scheduling, dynamic route optimization, real-time tracking, proof of delivery, billing and settlement, and delivery network performance analysis.
Collectively, these capabilities help businesses provide their customers with specific scheduling windows, real-time ETAs and a frictionless delivery experience, the company said.
Unlike many competitors in the last-mile space, DispatchTrack is a “one-stop shop,” Natarajan said, offering customers a comprehensive platform instead of having them piece together multiple products and services from different companies.
Satish and Shailu have built a profitable product and customer-focused business, Spectrum Vice President Adam Gassin told FreightWaves, with “all the components proven and working at a scale that are needed to move more companies and more industries into a future where last-mile delivery is a strategic and delightful part of the core customer experience.”
Even as expectations around last-mile delivery have continued to rise, Gassin explained, “the technology solutions haven’t had the flexibility or configurability to scale across all the many use cases that exist.”
The new investment will help DispatchTrack continue to innovate, according to Natarajan, and grow across verticals and geographies.
In conjunction with the funding, Gassin and Vic Parker, Spectrum’s managing director, will join DispatchTrack’s board. Asked how it will feel to relinquish some control of the business, Natarajan said growing without losing “the soul and character” will be a challenge. That said, “we are always looking for people to learn from, and the caliber that Spectrum has brought to us — this is like a crash course, and I’m drinking from a firehouse.”
“We are very fortunate to be in this position.”