JLL India makes Strategic Investment in Cloud1 Enterprises
International property consultancy JLL India's proprietary Real Estate Technology Investment vertical has announced an investment in NCR-based Cloud1 Enterprises, an end-to-end cloud based platform that enables corporates to deploy telematics technologies to bring efficiency to employee transportation.
JLL India's recently established structured vertical makes proprietary investments into early-stage technology companies with the potential to disrupt the real estate business.
Anuj Nangpal, Head - India Real Estate Technology Ventures, JLL India says, "Estimated at US$ 2 bn in India alone, the employee transportation sector is currently highly fragmented, inefficient and opaque. The potential for further optimization of company transportation costs via data analytics and telematics is phenomenal. Functionalities like mapping and routing have become basic features throughout the globe in this industry. Cloud1 will focus on data integration with traditional fleet management systems to convert telematics insights into fleet productivity.”
Cloud1's business model is not predicated on a high customer acquisition cost and corresponding burn rates as a result of deep discounting. Proprietary algorithms allow intelligent utilization of vehicles and real-time trip monitoring, which enables Cloud1 to squeeze ultimate efficiency out of the value chain and offer employers a dedicated trip based model.
Sumir Anand, Co-founder - Cloud1 says, “Adhering to global standards of compliance and transparency, Cloud1 - unlike other technology providers - has made up-front investments to tech-enable vehicles which are supported by a 24 x 7 Command Center. Our platform and solution completely de-risks our clients from having to invest in technology. The grey area of employee transportation is one of the Indian industry's biggest pain points; with Cloud1, we envisage a paradigm shift in this daily necessity - and the substantial operating expense it usually involves. We have invested over 18 months in developing and perfecting the platform.”
The current daily transportation cost per employee ranges between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 13,000 per month, and Cloud1 is confident that this figure can be reduced by at least 15%. In addition, up to 60% reduction can be realized in direct manpower deployed to service the organization's transportation needs. Cloud1's services can imply an overall saving of up to 20% towards this expense - while adding substantial safety and security for employees. At current estimates, this could reflect an overall reduction in operational costs for the industry to the tune of Rs. 1,200 –1,500 crores per year. Similarly, compliances that are invariably compromised or overlooked due to lack of real-time data are robustly assured with Cloud1, and employers can be confident that associated risks are mitigated through data analytics.
“Cloud1 offers a managed services model to its clients via a telematics-enabled employee transport platform seamlessly integrated into the vehicle," says Anuj Nangpal. "With an entrepreneurial team of seasoned ITeS professionals with combined domain experience of over 70 years, Cloud1 has developed an accountable service delivery solution with practical and real-time tools to solve the transportation problem for BPM and InfoTech companies who currently rely on a unstructured vendor base for the daily commute of several lakh employees. Cloud1 seeks to offer the safest, most reliable and cheapest technology-enabled solution to corporate transportation teams. Thus, this investment is perfectly aligned with JLL’s commitment to offer technology-based services to the industry."
As opposed to current pure software platforms, Cloud1’s solution directly integrates vehicles with Cloud 1’s 24 x 7 Command Center, which actively monitors exception alerts on each trip and captures all critical data points - including driver authentication, vehicle compliance, safety and security alerts and route deviation. Thus, the solution creates a completely secure, transparent and efficient employee transportation service offering and eliminates the need for clients to have ‘dedicated in-house’ call centers. Cloud1 will partner with its clients to offer analytics about data generated on its telematics platform to drive further efficiencies.
“Inefficiencies in the existing system add up surprisingly quickly," says Sumir Anand. "The strategy is not to disintermediate but to share technology lead savings with all stakeholders - including drivers, vendors, corporates and employees. We are currently focused on capturing key employee clusters in the NCR market, and will use a part of these funds to explore expansion into new key cities. The strategic alliance with JLL will provide us deep access to the decision-makers in the industry. The synergy is obvious.”
The platform has been received with great enthusiasm by the industry, with many Corporates and MNC’s signing up for pilots within a couple of months of the launch. This is JLL’s second investment in the real estate technology space after its investment into Foyr.com in October 2016. N.A Shah Associates and Fortitude Law Associates were advisors to the transaction.