“We’d talked about solving these so-called pain points since 2011, but we did not want to be No Action, Talk Only (NATO), we wanted to fix these issues for everyone in the logistics industry.”

David Duan, Co-founder of oTMS

oTMS

Type

SaaS

Founder(s)

Mirek Dabrowski,
David Duan

Year Invested

2013

Investment Stage

Angel

Company Intro

oTMS is the world's first community-based software as a service (SaaS) transportation collaborative management platform, enabling the seamless transfer and sharing of data across what has historically been a paper-intensive and massively inefficient industry. oTMS has rapidly on-boarded more than 70 of the top 500 logistics companies in China as customers, not to mention global shipping firms and consumer brands. The award-winning solution enjoyed tenfold growth in its PC and mobile user base in 2014, and successfully processed more than 30 million orders the following year.

Website

“oTMS is a mature product that many companies had been using internally for three years to optimize transport sourcing and planning. It was something companies like Bestseller and Panasonic would use to coordinate distribution from tier one to lower-tier vendors, down to drivers and then the consignee. We wanted to put that all on the same page and then make it sharable between all parties.”
David Duan, Co-founder of oTMS

David (oTMS)

"PurpleSky have this sense as investors, somewhere between judgment and instinct. It is not easy to tell whether something like this will work in B2B, but they could."

Frank (PurpleSky)

"When they started, the infrastructure and office space they had in Pudong wasn’t great, but they did their best despite the limitations. Also, because Mirek was a foreigner, it complicated the investment structure. But they took it extremely seriously and completed the necessary reams of paperwork. We read drive and determination in that."

The Story

David
China has a RMB3-trillion trucking market but the top 10 players have less than 2% marketshare. There are 800,000 companies competing across China, presenting an incredibly complicated market. We were trying to link them all together and make them easily navigable for all stakeholders.
Frank
Initially, Mirek and David were thinking to run the business using a server as they wanted to focus on large enterprises. But we saw the potential of oTMS becoming a service that changed people’s lives, not only enterprises but individuals. Previously, logistics management was immobile – everyone needed to be sitting in front of a PC to work. We recommended the adoption of the software as a service (SaaS) model instead.
David
But our target clients are different to those using other SaaS products – they are big enterprises not SMEs – companies like Bestseller, Panasonic, LVMH or Li Ning. In 2013, when PurpleSky invested, it was not so simple to explain why SaaS works – it was not yet as widely accepted. Now we have a steadily increasing list of satisfied clients that proves oTMS’s effectiveness.
Frank
Yes, oTMS were the first to offer this service, its benefits were obvious. Stakeholders can obtain real-time track and trace information, all logistical info is recorded, and even cargo receipts can be signed off through the app.
David
We had revenue from day one - we felt we could charge because we were locking customers into a platform, and that meant they had to be sure we would be there over the long term.
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