Once you click on the “Buy” button and your transaction is approved, you’ll most likely immediately start refreshing the page to see if your order is on the way.
But while online shoppers normally expected it, offering this minute-by-minute tracking visibility is not as straightforward as it sounds.
This is precisely what Skydropx, a logistics service for e-commerce companies, seeks to solve. The Mexican company is based in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and allows building automated end-to-end delivery experiences with optimal logistics operation.
SkydropX’s business model is already bearing fruit since raising US$20 million in their Series A capital, which was led by 645 Ventures and Base10 Partners. They are already thinking about expanding outside of Mexico and implementing new services.
To learn more about SkydropX’s plans we talked to Tavo Zambrano, co-founder and CEO of the company:
Contxto: How was the idea and subsequent materialization of SkydropX born?
Tavo Zambrano: We had about three pivots before this one. Between 2010 and 2014, I created a company for online food ordering in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. In 2014, we sold it to Delivery Hero. The biggest problem in that company was that the food did not arrive on time.
In October 2014, we started Skydrop to help restaurants deliver their food. We were the online link between them and the independent delivery guys. But in 2016 Rappi came along and because of their business model, there was no way to compete. That year we also started working with Amazon with their last-mile service. Then, we worked with Walmart, ClaroShop, HEB, and Soriana, but they wanted lower prices and same-day delivery, which was a problem.
In mid-August of that same year, SkydropX was born. We connected small and medium-sized companies with national parcel carriers, grabbing volume to offer them a price they could easily access. In 2018, we completed the last mile and focused on being the aggregator of parcel carriers in Mexico. Then it became a soft sale, where you can manage all your logistics from the same place.
C: What market opportunities do you see?
T.Z.: Today, 50% of the stores you order from online in Mexico are not going to give you a direct tracking link to follow your order. Instead, they’ll give you a link from the parcel carrier.
By this I mean that there is still a great opportunity in Mexico to improve the user experience from purchase to delivery, or even in returning a product. That is where Skydrop adds value in terms of tracking and shipment notification.
C: How does the platform work?
T.Z.: The user enters our platform and has two options: to connect their parcels with those who they already have negotiations with, in order to manage everything in one place; or they can choose a SkydropX parcel.
Once users have decided and made the shipment they receive a tracking notification, which keeps them updated until their package arrives. Once they have it in their hands they can decide whether to keep or return it – which will also be tracked.
C: At what monthly and annual rate have you grown in terms of profitability? Can we know how much you are billing annually?
T.Z.: In 2018 and 2019 we were billing $300 million pesos annually, and from there we have grown three times per year.
C: Where will the new capital of US$20 million go?
T.Z.: Most of it is going towards continued improvement of our product; to provide a better user experience. Another part of it will be invested in reaching other countries such as Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Peru.
C: Will you be integrating any other services into your platform?
T.Z.: There are two big services we are integrating: one is our own, or affiliated, branches, where people will be able to go and buy their guides, pick up packages, or make returns. We expect to open more than 3,000 branches by 2023 throughout Mexico.
The other service is fulfilment in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Querétaro. With that, customers will be able to give us the package and we will do the picking and packing until the shipment is made.
C: What are your goals for 2022?
T.Z.: For this year, the most important thing would be to have a presence in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. To have 1,200 points installed in Mexico and to have our fulfilment network up and running, which would be around 22.