Houston innovators podcast episode 99
Serial entrepreneur sees logistics innovation as a 'massive opportunity' for Houston
For over a decade, Gaurav Khandewal has been working with clients to provide software solutions to industrial problems with his company, ChaiOne. Now, in his latest venture, he's addressing a market within logistics that can be run a whole lot smoother: The middle mile.
On this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast, Khandewal explains that the middle mile in logistics is the trucks transporting between warehouses, for instance, and that includes trucks checking in and checking out at these warehouses. This process, and other aspects to the middle mile, is antiquated and manual — something his new company, Velostics, is looking to address.
"This middle mile commerce is very ancient," Khandewal says. "There is a lot of friction between ordering and paying. A lot of it is unnecessary and should be made simpler."
This middle mile represents a $700 billion market, and Velostics is ready to make an impact in that space. Last month, the company acquired Terusama, a logistics tech company with dock management and truck scheduling capabilities. The company's software solution that speeds up truck loading and unloading will be rolled into Velostics's platform.
The potential impact Velostics can make is exciting to Khandewal, who relates the technology to truck drivers being able to check in like passengers do with airlines. Smoothing out the so-called "log jam" of the middle mile can be a gamechangers for consumers and businesses alike.
"If we could accelerate the middle mile where a lot of the log jam is happening, we could get stuff in 30 minutes," Khandewal says. "We'd never have to go to a store again."
Khandewal has been a champion of Houston innovation since he started ChaiOne in 2009. Now, he's on the Houston Exponential board and thinks the city has a great opportunity to be a leader in logistics technology.
"I think that there are some trends in Houston that I'm seeing as a founder, and one of them is logistics," Khandewal says.
Velostics is one of seven Houston startups tied to logistics — and Khandewal mentions others like Voyager, GoExpedi, and Cart.com that are providing solutions in the space.
"If you look at Chicago — it's had some crazy amount of logistics unicorns that have popped up over the past few years, and they aren't slowing down," Khandewal says on the show. "Houston, I would argue, is better positioned, because we have this massive port. I think logistics is a massive opportunity for Houston."
He shares more on his passion for Houston, as well as what's next for Velostics on the episode. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.