Kardinal raises €2M to accelerate its development
Kardinal, the start-up expert in real-time tour optimization, raises 2 million € from the Serena fund and renowned business angels. This fundraising allows Kardinal to strengthen its teams, in order to speed-up the development of its SaaS solution, for Transport and Field Services players.
Founded in 2015 by Jonathan Bouaziz, Cedric Hervet and Hugo Farizon, Kardinal (formerly Citodi) is the start-up expert in tour optimization in real time, focusing on the last mile. During the early days of Kardinal, the founders observed that a vast majority of actors design and manage their schedules manually. In a market becoming more and more complex, due to the shortage of drivers, rising costs and urban concentration, it was unefficient.
Professionals are still struggling to implement tour optimization solutions which consider all their specific constraints.Jonathan Bouaziz, CEO of Kardinal
“This is mainly true in the transport sector, which has become strained, given the advent of e-commerce: customers now have high expectations, in terms of delivery times and costs, and parcel delivery volumes have gone through the roof, in the recent years. The last mile is now the most expensive part of distribution, and therefore a priority for carriers. Unfortunately, professionals are still struggling to implement tour optimization solutions which integrate all their specific constraints,” explains Jonathan Bouaziz, co-founder and CEO of Kardinal.
Bridging the gap between theory and practice
The first hurdle to implement such a solution, is the highly dynamic field trait : when tours are planned in advance, they lose performance and relevance from the first unexpected event encountered by the planner (late or poorly weighed packages, absent driver, new interventions, etc.) or the driver (traffic, late customer, site congestion, etc.).
Kardinal intends to respond to this challenge, with its dynamic and constantly evolving technology: “This requires an extremely flexible solution, through which it is possible to connect all of our customers’ processes. This allows our algorithm to take the exact context into account, at all times in order to be in complete control of the events in the field. The latter, can thus handle them better when they occur by offering relevant solution, depending on the context” explains Cedric Hervet, co-founder and Scientific Director of Kardinal.
A Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Solution
Today, Kardinal’s teams are focused on developing a decision support solution, rather than a system which automates everything. The famous human versus machine face-to-face is indeed at the heart of the debates, when we consider the automation as part of the work through algorithms.
Our customers should not have to choose between the algorithmic performance of the machine and the well informed choices of their teams.Jonathan Bouaziz, CEO of Kardinal
According to Kardinal, replacing man by machine is a model that can only exist in theory, as man possesses some expertise and knowledge which algorithms cannot integrate. Jonathan Bouaziz further explains, “The hundreds of hours we spent in warehouses or on the road with professionals, has convinced us that they have knowledge which isn’t part of any databases, and that is perfectly complementary, to the computing power of the solution we are developing. Our customers should not have to choose between the algorithmic performance of the machine and the well informed choices of their teams in real time, which is the result of years of practice.”
A SaaS offer dedicated to a rapidly expanding market
In the transport sector, the last mile represents 20% of the total cost of the supply chain, occupying 30% of the road network and emitting 25% of greenhouse gases. Depending on the activities, Kardinal’s algorithms allow:
- cost reductions ranging from 10% to 40%, even in the most dynamic contexts,
- an improvement in customer satisfaction, through respecting quality of service commitments (respecting time slots, intervention or cut-offs, etc.),
- a reduction in the time devoted to tour planning, which in most cases ranges from several hours to only a few minutes,
- a significant reduction in the environmental impact by reducing the number of kilometers travelled.
In addition, Kardinal’s unique technology is designed to:
- facilitate real-time decision-making, as for risk management on the road, offering its customers greater responsiveness,
- provide its customers the ability to offer and industrialize new services (choice of time slot, delivery in less than 3 hours, etc.),
- support its customers in the continuous improvement of their performance through the use of Machine Learning on their historical data, allowing more accurate predictions, as the days go by.
- allow simulation of various scenarios (by re-prioritizing business objectives, loosening certain constraints or varying resources) in order to clarify strategic choices concerning the activity.
The transportation sector, which is the main market for the solution, has been experiencing a growth phase in the recent years, partly driven by the development of e-commerce (whose turnover has been growing at double-digit rates, for several years now). This dynamic encourages market players to invest massively in order to be able to adapt to the increase in parcel shipping volumes and offer new services, at competitive rates.
Kardinal brings a technological breakthrough on an issue that mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people and billions of euros.Marie Brayer, Partner at Serena
Confronted with these encouraging prospects, Kardinal has decided to strengthen its teams through a fundraising campaign. The founders turned to the Serena investment fund and several well-known Business Angels: David Binks, Pascal Boris, Christophe Chausson (Chausson Finance), Bertrand Diard (Talend), Antoine Le Conte (Cheerz), Aurelien de Meaux and Bruno Scherrer. The funds will enable Kardinal’s offer to grow, through a SaaS platform for key accounts in the transport and field services sectors.
Marie Brayer, Partner at Serena, says: “We were extremely impressed by the technical level of the team, which brings a technological breakthrough on an issue that mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people and billions of euros on a daily basis, and this through an approach that combines highly advanced algorithms and human intelligence. We are therefore delighted to support Kardinal in this new stage of its development”.