When having something delivered, or being picked up for a ride, we want more than rough estimates. We want to know where the driver is, which way they’re going, and exactly when we can expect them to arrive.
But for the most part, this capability has been limited to companies willing and able to allocate massive resources. Kashyap Deorah sought to change that with his company, HyperTrack. They offer a sophisticated but easily integrated GPS tracking system as a SaaS, allowing companies of all sizes to track their drivers and share selected information with customers in real time.
On this edition of UpTech Report, Kashyap discusses some of the intricacies involved in offering an API service, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his sector, and where he sees his company growing.
HyperTrack’s founder and chief executive is fourth-time entrepreneur Kashyap Deorah, who previously sold companies to OpenTable and Future Group. He is also a best-selling author and investor.
Kashyap started his first company as a college student at IIT Bombay and sold it to a Silicon Valley firm. Since then, he has operated in the US-India corridor and done business in China, South-East Asia, and Northern Europe.show more
Kashyap has written for leading print and online publications and made keynote presentations at Internet technology and ecommerce conferences. He is the author of 2015’s The Golden Tap—The Inside Story of Hyper-Funded Indian Start-Ups.
San Francisco-based HyperTrack is the live location cloud for deliveries, visits, and rides. Hundreds of retail, service and ecommerce companies on every inhabited continent use HyperTrack to power operations efficiency, field productivity, customer experience, and financial payouts.
Over 10,000 software developers have built over 3,000 HyperTrack-powered applications deployed to over 5 million devices, generating 3 billion annual location events for businesses that depend on real-time applications and location intelligence. The company’s partnership integrations include Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, and Intuit QuickBooks.show less
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Kashyap Deorah 0:00
We built it application first. But if you’re building an API company, you’ve got to build infrastructure first.
Alexander Ferguson 0:13
Welcome, everyone to UpTech Report, our Appied tech series. UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at teraleap.io. Today, I’m very excited to be joined by my guests, Kashyap Deorah, who’s based in San Francisco, the founder and CEO of HyperTrack, welcome. Good to have you.
Kashyap Deorah 0:31
Thanks for having me, Alex.
Alexander Ferguson 0:33
So your product is a logistics automation API, basically allowing you to add live location sharing with ETA, you’re targeting those who are CTOs or CEOs, or operations teams that specifically are in physical retailers involved in logistics, this might be a platform that they want to check out. I’m curious on your site, you say, easiest way to drive operations efficiency with application? I’m curious, when you set out what was the problem you saw, that you wanted to solve? And how has that evolved over time?
Kashyap Deorah 1:07
Sure, you know, I come from a retail and E commerce background. And what I saw was the digital and physical worlds were sort of converging. And live location was a centerpiece to that. So from the time that you want to allocate a delivery, to to a driver to tracking how the progress is going to tracking the order on the way to serve, optimizing the routes and figuring out what’s the best way to do it. For everything operations, when it comes to home delivery, live location was a centerpiece. And a lot of companies were struggling with that piece. They had to they were all investing millions of dollars to build the same infrastructure all over again. And we thought there’s just a better way of doing things.
Alexander Ferguson 1:51
This is a, a concept I’m seeing in a couple other areas, as well as building the underlying technology that then you can just easily pull in, you don’t have to be great at everything. When you’re building a new app or developing a software, I think this is a great place where you don’t have to be really good at geolocation, being able to add live location data to your app, you can just pull in someone who’s done it really well. Did I describe that effectively have that mindset?
Kashyap Deorah 2:21
Absolutely, you know, the pace at which the world is changing, you know, the, I mean, some call it the creation economy where, you know, you have to build things that are suitable to your need. And what you really want is API’s that abstract out the infrastructure layer and give you the feature that you want, but hand over full control over where that feature lives inside of your application. Right. So they control the application and the user experience, while abstracting out the infrastructure and sort of the basic use case. And Logistics is an area where, you know, lends itself beautifully to the API economy or the creation economy.
Alexander Ferguson 3:07
For hyper track, you started originally about four or five years ago, but the last few years really getting to the product development, bringing this to market. I’m excited to hear more about your story, those who want to hear it stick around for part two of our interview will diving deep into into a story, but to give us a taste. What’s something you wish you had known five years ago that you know now?
Kashyap Deorah 3:30
That’s a great question. You know, I underestimated the complexity of the infrastructure piece and what it takes to build an API product and sort of infrastructure software. I’ve built in sold three companies before this, this is my fourth company. And all previous companies were sort of application software. And what I learned the hard way, after the first two, three years on the first version of the product, which actually failed, because of architecture issues, is that we built it application first. But if you’re building an API company, you’ve got to build infrastructure first.
Alexander Ferguson 4:10
That’s powerful. You’re coming back to Hypertech. The concept itself? Can you give a use case or case study of one of your clients? Right now they’re using it from kind of beginning to end? How does it work for them?
Kashyap Deorah 4:22
Sure. So you know, there is medicine delivery, sort of pharmaceutical company that supplies to stores nationwide. And after COVID, what they saw was the demand from App companies and app delivery companies just, you know, skyrocketed. And the demand from stores actually dipped substantially, you know, for obvious reasons. And they thought, you know, why don’t we extend our logistics team to not just deliver from the warehouse to the store, but warehouse to the door, and in doing so, So they wanted delivery app that the riders could use, they wanted to use their live location to dispatch the orders efficiently. They wanted order tracking for the end customer, they wanted their ops managers in the various cities to keep tabs of the life progress happening on the field, they were able to go live with all of this within three weeks of starting with hyper track, I think that’s the power of, of this platform.
Alexander Ferguson 5:28
Sounds like the simplicity as well to be able to pull it in, you don’t have to have a long development cycle to say, let’s add live location data to our application.
Kashyap Deorah 5:37
Absolutely. And you know, you have enterprises who are not quite looking to buy the end to end solution, because more often than not, for a large operation that doesn’t scale, because it’s too brittle and rigid in its own way. A lot of enterprises who consider logistics as their core and especially home delivery now, you know, in the post COVID world, they want to build their own workflows. And you know, they want tight control over the application. But they don’t want to reinvent the wheel and go figure out how the OMS you treat sensors and locations? Or how to manage this data in the cloud, or how to navigate the complex world of maps, they just want, you know, how can I build this faster and easier in a way that just fits into my current system?
Alexander Ferguson 6:25
What’s your business model? How does it work? Is that just a flat monthly or yearly subscription based on the usage? What is it worth?
Kashyap Deorah 6:35
It’s priced as a SaaS product, you either pay per user, and here the user is the driver who’s delivering or you pay per, per order.
Alexander Ferguson 6:46
If you could share a word of wisdom to a CTO or CEO who’s looking at this whole space, and they’re like, are building this new software? And what would you share just a word of wisdom for them?
Kashyap Deorah 7:01
You know, I would say, the, you’ve got to figure out your home delivery, logistics automation for the future. Because your life depends on it. I’ve been in the retail, and E commerce world, things are converging, just as physical retailers thought ecommerce would never be large. And you know, 20 years later, here we are, you know, the location logistics piece to the last mile is is is here and it’s the future. And in building that out and building that automation, pick an API over a full blown application, because that’s going to bring you to the future that you want.
Alexander Ferguson 7:48
I mean, back to the technology itself, can anything you can share how it is different or just uniqueness from whether it’s building your own or other options that are out there?
Kashyap Deorah 8:01
Sure, it’s, you know, it’s an API first product. And I think that’s the beauty of it. That’s where we are winning customers over everybody else is it gives you everything you want, and nothing that you don’t. And I think that navigating that line in, you know, we’ve sort of been able to abstract out the infrastructure complexity and the core sort of building blocks of what your application needs in a way that it works across applications across regions across company sizes, whether you’re on demand or scheduled work, whether it’s gig work, or full time employees, whether it’s visits, you know, service visits you’re doing or product delivery, it’s the underlying problem is is, you know, abstracted out, you can focus on what’s core to your business, and not have to worry about infrastructure.
Alexander Ferguson 9:03
What’s the most exciting feature or element you guys have just brought to release versus about to release?
Kashyap Deorah 9:09
That’s a good question. So we recently, you know, launched an insights module. So you know, we were sitting on a lot of location data, contextual location data, so location data, sort of organized as orders and how is the day of the user? How much distance did they travel, because you can automate financial payouts with that. So it was a coal mine of information. And we saw a pattern of customers asking the same questions over and over again of this is what they wanted from the reports. This is the what they wanted from analytics, and these are the insights they wanted from that data. So we sort of package that into an insights module that we released. We quietly released last month and we’re going to do a slightly louder release next week. It’s It’s just phenomenal. It’s a pleasure to use that product. It’s just it, you know, I’m very excited about that.
Alexander Ferguson 10:09
I can tell you like, it’s just awesome. So you want to say, but nothing like having good data and analytics about what’s going on what’s happening.
Kashyap Deorah 10:17
It’s amazing what it uncovers for you, right? It’s when the data gives you the answers you want. Before you even have the question. That’s when magic happens, right? You look at it and go, Oh, wow, that’s what’s happening on my field, right? And when you have customers saying, your data helped me understand this basic inefficiency in my system, this is what I was doing wrong. I fixed that. And boom, you know, this is the impact I had. You know, that’s what you want to hear.
Alexander Ferguson 10:47
What can you share, then of your long term vision? What’s your roadmap? Where do you see the company five years from now?
Kashyap Deorah 10:54
Got it. Yeah, our mission is to track the world’s commerce. Anything that moves with commercial value? We believe that there’s a whole range of enterprise software that will be built on top of the live location data on the move, you know, for your business. We are the enabler for unlocking the value out of that data.
Alexander Ferguson 11:19
Yes, yep. I appreciate you sharing how you guys are kind of bringing to market a new whole simple wait for physical retailers to have logistic logistics and bring that to market. It’s pretty exciting. So those who want to learn more, you can go to it’s hypertrack.com, is that correct? That’s awesome. And then you can be able to, what’s a good first action for them to take when they go to the website?
Kashyap Deorah 11:44
Well sign up. And when you sign up, there is an app you can download from the App Store or the Play Store. And just play around with you know, just play around with the basic use cases, sharing live location, viewing it on the dashboard, creating Crips with ETA, creating geo fences, and so on. So that would be the immediate thing to do. And of course, if you’re a larger company, just just give us a call, we’ll schedule a demo and we’d love to understand what your challenges are in logistics.
Alexander Ferguson 12:14
Awesome. And for those that want to hear more about his story and the journey that he’s been on lessons learned a several startups he founded. So I know there’s a lot of insights you have a stick around for part two of our interview, and we’ll see you guys next time. That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company, we should interview you can nominate them at UpTech report.com. Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you’re subscribed to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.