Karooooo buys Picup in big e-commerce play

Karooooo CEO Zak Calisto

Karooooo, the Nasdaq-listed mobility software company that owns South Africa’s Cartrack Holdings, has acquired digital logistics specialist Picup Technologies in a R70-million deal.

Antonio Bruni, founder and CEO of Picup, and the management team will remain invested with a 29.9% stake. Karooooo has the option to increase its shareholding to 83.5% in time.

Picup is a system integration partner of Cartrack’s and specialises in the “online delivery operational management software industry”, Karooooo said in a statement on Monday. It is a “highly competitive and entrepreneurial, founder-led business” with strong growth prospects “given the acceleration of e-commerce transactions and the demand to digitise logistics”, it added.

Picup has been working with Cartrack to address the challenges of last-mile delivery. The company “simplifies transport operations and helps mitigate the risks associated with logistics, specifically in relation to meeting tight delivery timeframes”.

“Cartrack customers are now able to manage their own fleets and workflows, interact with specialist courier companies, as well as a network of vetted crowd-sourced drivers, thus enabling them to scale their e-commerce business, deliveries and general logistic needs efficiently,” Karooooo said.

Cloud solution

“The platform allows enterprises and transporters to plan and allocate their loads, access real-time tracking and proof of delivery with automated payments.

“As e-commerce booms, retailers and wholesalers require more efficient, flexible and cost-effective ways to optimise delivery capacity using a cloud solution. Picup facilitates an elastic fleet of third-party delivery drivers to handle overflow volumes, allowing clients to plan optimally, without having to factor surge periods into their base operating capacity.”

Picup completes about 200 000 monthly deliveries for clients such as Dischem and Pick n Pay. Its “annualised growth revenue run rate” stood at R79-million at 31 July — a 130% increase from March.

Picup helps enterprises scale their operations without having to invest unnecessarily in additional assets

Zak Calisto, CEO and founder of Karooooo and Cartrack, said in a statement: “As we think beyond connected vehicles, it is imperative that our cloud platform is a comprehensive mobility solution that addresses the needs of both our existing and future enterprise customers. E-commerce transactions across the globe are increasing dramatically and we need to ensure that we are well positioned to assist our enterprise customers in fully digitalising the mobility aspects of their businesses.

“Picup helps enterprises scale their operations without having to invest unnecessarily in additional assets. Our customers that use the Cartrack Delivery functionality on our platform will soon be able to have a one stop cloud platform to manage their fleets with the option of using crowd-sourced drivers when faced with unplanned demand,” he said — © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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Source: techcentral.co.za