Route-planner start-up sees strong initial investment.
OptimoRoute, the route planner tech startup founded by former Yelp and Google engineers, announced it has raised a $6.5-million Series A round, led by Prelude Ventures. Participating investors include Congruent Ventures and Michael Stoppelman, former SVP of Engineering of Yelp and investor.
OptimoRoute helps companies of all sizes manage their mobile workforces, ranging from delivery to technicians. OptimoRoute’s industry-first platform includes system planning live dispatch, an easy-to-use mobile app for drivers and real-time order tracking for end customers. Users begin to see 10-30% year-over-year growth after introducing the system, while employees get more done in a day while also empowering them to do their jobs better and faster.
Tackling the underlying 90-year-old “traveling salesperson problem” is one of the most intensely studied problems in optimization, and breakthroughs at OptimoRoute enable it to solve problems that are considered extremely difficult even for academic research engines. OptimoRoute is the first company to offer comprehensive pickup and delivery planning, up to a month in advance.
Offering a fast user-friendly web interface and a simple pricing model, OptimoRoute has over 800 clients, and is used by everyone from large energy companies to small businesses. While 90% of customers are in the U.S., OptimoRoute is used in over 20 countries globally. Clients include Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline with 300 maintenance technicians; Telgian, which uses OptimoRoute to efficiently plan thousands of fire-safety inspections across U.S. each month, increasing the number of inspections by 70% while keeping the number of technicians the same; and Hardies, a Texas-based grocery delivery company using OptimoRoute, which is now delivering 14% more deliveries without increasing fleet size or working hours, but decreasing mileage by 20%.
“Prelude is excited to help OptimoRoute expand its reach and further develop its offerings for a multitude of mobile workforces,” said Victoria Beasley, principal, Prelude Ventures. “We strongly believe that OptimoRoute is set to have a huge impact on the route optimization market, saving time, money and resources, while also reducing carbon footprint, for their many diverse clients.”
OptimoRoute has spent over 5 years on in-house R&D developing algorithms to help create and organize schedules, while optimizing routes. Everything from the road network and travel times, to how much room is left in the van, to hourly wages, contractor costs, working hours and skills are taken into account to produce routes and schedules that get the largest amount of work done, while keeping driving and waiting times down.
“We are thrilled to be working closely with Prelude Ventures and Congruent Ventures to help us grow and meet demand,” said Marin Šarić, co-founder and CEO of OptimoRoute. “Every business with employees in the field, whether it's drivers doing deliveries or techs doing jobs faces a complex task of deciding who gets to go where, at what time and in what order.”
Šarić added, “Small business owners end up spending a significant part of their working hours organizing and reorganizing people, sometimes many hours per day. In large companies, planning groups and departments are formed with a primary goal of creating a schedule, a process that can take weeks. With OptimoRoute, the planning processes are cut down from hours to minutes every day.”
OptimoRoute's international team of experts and engineers bring decades of experience from Google, Yelp and Facebook. They have won awards at international programming competitions, such as the International Olympiad in Informatics and the International Collegiate Programming Contest, and have published machine learning and information retrieval research in leading publications.
The system is simple and easy to use. Orders are entered or imported to OptimoRoute. Based on the entered constraints like travel durations, driver work times, delivery/service time windows, vehicle load capacity, driver skills and vehicle features the system proposes efficient routes and stop sequences. Users can manually change the routes and the platform allows for 5-week advanced weekly planning, optimal dynamic re-planning and the ability to do multi-day routing of personnel across multiple states with overnight stays.