Startup of the Week: Logexa thinks outside the box with online storage solutions

Startup of the Week: Logexa thinks outside the box with online storage solutions
Their first funding round brought in $300k from Seedra Ventures, with a further soft commitment of $1.3m from an undisclosed source in a second round. (Shutterstock)
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Startup of the Week: Logexa thinks outside the box with online storage solutions

Startup of the Week: Logexa thinks outside the box with online storage solutions
  • We serve people based on their needs — people with overflow challenges: CEO

RIYADH: Any goods delivery company will have a sinking feeling at the thought of short-term storage, with most warehouse operators insisting on minimum volumes and contracts of at least a few months.

Logexa, an online logistics platform launched by Husam Sendi and his co-founders in September 2021, turned the problem on its head. 




After graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in supply chain logistics, Husam Sendi cut his teeth in the same sector as a supply chain manager.

The company was born when the problem interfered with Sendi’s first shot at entrepreneurship.

After graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in supply chain logistics, he cut his teeth in the same sector as a supply chain manager, first with FMCG distributor Unilever and then with Ohio-based industrial packaging firm Greif International.

With that hands-on experience, Sendi launched his first startup in 2013, focusing on repackaging promotional retail items, such as a free bowl with a packet of noodles. His biggest client was his ex-employer Unilever, and that contract folded up when Unilever cut back its operations due to fallout from Brexit.

Sendi then moved into consultancy for transportation companies and, from there, expanded to storage services and solutions for his previous co-packaging clients. However, the business hit the wall when red beetles infected his warehouse.

“I thought that was the end of my business and career,” said Sendi.

Solutions in store

But never one to say die, he continued to serve his remaining clients through his network of warehousing affiliates. That, in turn, gave him the idea to concentrate on storage solutions. However, he was wary of dedicating resources to warehouse space or human resources, both of which can pile up crippling overheads when a business goes south.

“But in 2019, I heard about digital transformation,” Sendi said. “I talked to a few people and explored the idea of digitalizing the current manual warehousing process. How about a program that accepts orders, collects payment and diverts orders to the warehouse?”

His idea quickly gained the recognition of prominent startup accelerators: first King Abdulaziz University, with a prize of SR10,000 ($2,665) and then the Taqadam program of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, with a grant of SR525,000.

Sendi’s fledgling startup was bolstered by the addition of Husam Sabano, an old Unilever colleague with an academic background in industrial and systems engineering, and Khalid Nagadi, who had a doctorate in industrial engineering and over a decade’s experience in process management. Both of them came on board as co-founders.

Thus Logexa was born in March 2021, with Sendi as CEO, Sabano as CTO and Khalid Nagadi as COO. 

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because everybody was confined to their homes, the company avoided the typical startup costs of hiring office-based staff.

“I would say we were lucky that we did not have to mobilize. We were all stuck at home, and all the work was online,” he said.

Sendi invested the KAUST grant into tech development and branding. The company was based on a simple premise: aggregating pallet spaces via tie-ups with warehouse operators, whereby it can offer temporary storage solutions to any entity that needs it — a business model known as third-party logistics.

“We decided to outsource the entire operation, so we have zero assets,” explained Sendi.

Rapid progress

Logexa is an on-demand logistics platform. Many warehousing providers have a problem filling their spaces. But they don’t want to deal with small and medium enterprises that involve too much follow-up and chasing invoices.

“Many SMEs do not have access to proper warehousing because they lack the volume. Nor are they good at negotiating rates. Even if they do so, they will be committed to long-term contracts, which is very costly.

“We serve people based on their needs — people with overflow challenges, small volumes, or small businesses who cannot negotiate deals but require storage solutions at a high standard — through our online platform. It’s a win-win for the warehouse operators and our clients,” he said.

Logexa is now active in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Khamis Mushait, Qassim and Rabigh, registering a steady growth of 30 percent month over month, starting with 24 pallet positions to over 2,700 today.

“We measure our performance on three aspects: number of pallets we store, revenue and the number of customers,” added Sendi.

The company achieved $40,000 in revenue in March, $30,000 in April and $100,000 in May. In terms of clients, they started with four and now have 75.

The company aims to further expand in terms of services, branching out into transport and last-mile delivery, and geographically, with plans to launch in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa, among other territories.

The company’s rapid progress, coupled with its robust business model, has attracted significant investment. Their first funding round, in September 2021, brought in $300,000 from Riyadh’s Seedra Ventures, with a further soft commitment of $1.3 million from an undisclosed source in a second round that will be closing in June.

Sendi sees Saudi Arabia’s current business climate as ideal for further expansion.

“Logexa enables both SMEs and large companies to have access to quick and flexible solutions,” he said. “Saudi wants to become the logistics hub of the world, and we have a digital solution that will help customers adapt while adding great value to Vision 2030.”


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday
Updated 12 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's stock market declined to one of its lowest levels in months last week due to concerns that rising interest rates could push the global economy into recession.

TASI, the main index, fell for a second consecutive day on Thursday to end 0.1 percent lower at 11,311 points, while the parallel Nomu market added 0.4 percent to 20,728.

Qatar led the fall in the Gulf with a 1.6 percent decline, followed by a 1.1 percent drop in Dubai’s stock index.

Stock exchanges of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait all lost between 0.2 and 0.7 percent.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s index EGX30 closed 01.8 percent lower.

Oil prices rose on Friday, buoyed by tight supply. Brent crude settled at $113.12 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reached $107.62 a barrel.

Stock news

Mouwasat Medical Services Co. closed a SR295 million ($79 million) deal with Tareg Al-Jaafari Contracting Co. for the construction of a hospital in Yanbu industrial city

Methanol Chemicals Co. said it would pay SR273 million in total as an early loan repayment to the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and lending banks

The Saudi Stock Exchange will launch futures trading on single stocks on July 4, as its second derivatives product after introducing index futures in late 2020

Calendar

June 26, 2022

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co.’s subscription to new shares ends

June 27, 2022

End of Alamar Foods’ IPO book-building

Retal Urban Development Co. will start trading its shares on TASI

June 28, 2022

End of the Saudi Investment Bank’s Sukuk offering

July 4, 2022

Start of single-stock futures trading on Tadawul


Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity

Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity
Updated 25 min 52 sec ago

Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity

Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange will launch futures trading on single stocks on July 4, amid efforts to bolster liquidity and lure investors into the region’s biggest bourse.

It added that the first tranche of the futures contracts will include Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Aramco, Saudi National Bank, Alinma Bank, SABIC, Saudi Kayan, Saudi Telecom Co., Saudi Electricity Co., Almarai, and Ma’aden. 

A single-stock future is a type of futures contract between two parties to exchange a specified number of stocks in a company for a price agreed today with delivery occurring at a specified future date.

The move will “enable local and international investors to hedge and manage portfolio risks more effectively as well as diversify products available for trading and hedging in the market,” Tadawul said in a statement.

Single-stock futures will be the second derivatives product on the Kingdom’s bourse, after the launch of index futures in late 2020.


Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months
Updated 40 min 56 sec ago

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

RIYADH: Oil prices settled up by more than $3 a barrel on Friday, supported by tight supply, but they notched their second weekly decline on concern that rising interest rates could push the world economy into recession.

Brent crude settled up $3.07, or 2.8 percent, at $113.12 a barrel by 12:10 p.m. EDT. US West Texas Intermediate crude settled up $3.35, or 3.2 percent, at $107.62.

No government guidance on pricing policy: Incoming Petrobras CEO 

The incoming CEO of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras told a corporate committee he has not received any guidance from the government on changing the firm’s fuel pricing policy, a document showed on Saturday.

Caio Mario Paes de Andrade, a former economy ministry official appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro to run Petrobras, was approved by the eligibility committee on Friday, a key step for him to take the reins of the company.

The minutes of the meeting, published by Petrobras on Saturday, showed the committee had asked Andrade about the company’s pricing policy, a topic that helped bring down three CEOs during Bolsonaro’s tenure as price hikes created tensions with the far-right leader.

“I have no specific or general guidance from the controlling shareholder or any other shareholder in the sense of changing the company’s pricing policy,” Andrade said.

He is on the verge of taking over as CEO a month after he was named by Bolsonaro, awaiting a board vote on June 27.

G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price

Leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies are having “very constructive” discussions on a possible cap on Russian oil imports, a German government official said on Saturday shortly before the start of the annual three-day G7 summit.

The proposal is part of broader G7 discussions on how to further crank up the pressure on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine without stoking global inflationary pressures.

The Ukraine war, energy and food shortages and the darkening global economic outlook are expected to dominate the agenda of the summit that is taking place this year in Schloss Elmau, an alpine castle resort in southern Germany.

The US, Canada and Britain have already banned imports of Russian oil while EU leaders have agreed on an embargo that will take full effect by the end-2022 as part of sanctions on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine.

With energy prices soaring though, the West fears such embargoes will not actually put a dent in Russia’s war chest as the country earns more from exports even as volumes fall.

A price cap could solve that dilemma, while also avoiding further restricting oil supply and fueling inflation, officials say, but for it to work, it requires buy-in from heavy importers like India and China.

“We are on a good path to reach an agreement,” the official said.

The official said the G7 was also discussing the need to combine ambitious climate goals with the need for some countries to explore new gas fields as Europe rushed to wean itself off Russian gas imports.

US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

US energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, in a record 23-month streak of increases, as high crude prices and prodding by the government prompted drillers to return to the well pad.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose 13 to 753 in the week to June 24, its highest since March 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 283, or 60 percent, over this time last year.

US oil rigs rose 10 to 594 this week, their highest since March 2020, while gas rigs gained three to 157, their highest since September 2019.

That put the overall oil and gas rig count up for a record 23 months in a row, gaining 26 in June. It also put the count up for seven quarters in a row, the longest streak of gains since 2011.

The oil rig count was up for a record 22 months in a row, rising 20 in June. It also increased for the seventh quarter, the most quarters since 2012.

The gas rig count rose by six in June, rising for a 10th month in a row, tying the record set in May 2010. It also put the gas count up for seven quarters in a row, matching the record set in 2004.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

 


G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price — German official

G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price — German official
Updated 26 June 2022

G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price — German official

G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price — German official
  • The proposal is part of broader G7 discussions on how to further crank up the pressure on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine without stoking global inflationary pressures

SCHLOSS ELMAU, Germany: Leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies are having “very constructive” discussions on a possible cap on Russian oil imports, a German government official said on Saturday shortly before the start of the annual three-day G7 summit.
The proposal is part of broader G7 discussions on how to further crank up the pressure on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine without stoking global inflationary pressures.
The Ukraine war, energy and food shortages and the darkening global economic outlook are expected to dominate the agenda of the summit that is taking place this year in Schloss Elmau, an alpine castle resort in southern Germany.
The United States, Canada and Britain have already banned imports of Russian oil while European Union leaders have agreed an embargo that will take full effect by end-2022 as part of sanctions on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine.
With energy prices soaring though, the West fears such embargoes will not actually put a dent in Russia’s war chest as the country earns more from exports even as volumes fall.
A price cap could solve that dilemma, while also avoiding further restricting oil supply and fueling inflation, officials say, but for it to work, it requires buy-in from heavy importers like India and China.
“We are on a good path to reach an agreement,” the official said.
The official said the G7 was also discussing the need to combine ambitious climate goals with the need for some countries to explore new gas fields as Europe rushed to wean itself off Russian gas imports.


Inflation sparks global wave of protests for higher pay

Inflation sparks global wave of protests for higher pay
Updated 25 June 2022

Inflation sparks global wave of protests for higher pay

Inflation sparks global wave of protests for higher pay
  • Economists say Russia’s war in Ukraine amplified inflation by further pushing up the cost of energy

NEW YORK: Rising food costs. Soaring fuel bills. Wages that are not keeping pace. Inflation is plundering people’s wallets, sparking a wave of protests and workers’ strikes around the world.

This week alone saw protests by the political opposition in Pakistan, nurses in Zimbabwe, unionized workers in Belgium, railway workers in Britain, Indigenous people in Ecuador, hundreds of US pilots and some European airline workers. Sri Lanka’s prime minister declared an economic collapse Wednesday after weeks of political turmoil.

Economists say Russia’s war in Ukraine amplified inflation by further pushing up the cost of energy and prices of fertilizer, grains and cooking oils as farmers struggle to grow and export crops in one of the world’s key agricultural regions.

As prices rise, inflation threatens to exacerbate inequalities and widen the gap between billions of people struggling to cover their costs and those who are able to keep spending.

“We are not all in this together,” said Matt Grainger, head of inequality policy at antipoverty organization Oxfam. “How many of the richest even know what a loaf of bread costs? They don’t really, they just absorb the prices.”

Oxfam is calling on the Group of 7 leading industrialized nations, which are holding their annual summit this weekend in Germany, to provide debt relief to developing economies and to tax corporations on excess profits.

“This isn’t just a standalone crisis. It’s coming off the back of an appalling pandemic that fueled increased inequality worldwide,” Grainger said. “I think we will see more and more protests.”

The demonstrations have caught the attention of governments, which have responded to soaring consumer prices with support measures like expanded subsidies for utility bills and cuts to fuel taxes. Often, that offers little relief because energy markets are volatile. Central banks are trying to ease inflation by raising interest rates.

Meanwhile, striking workers have pressured employers to engage in talks on raising wages to keep up with rising prices.

Eddie Dempsey, a senior official with Britain’s Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, which brought UK train services to a near standstill with strikes this week, said there are going to be more demands for pay increases across other sectors.

“It’s about time Britain had a pay rise. Wages have been falling for 30 years and corporate profits have been going through the roof,” Dempsey said.

Last week, thousands of truckers in South Korea ended an eight-day strike that caused shipment delays as they called for minimum wage guarantees amid soaring fuel prices.

Months earlier, some 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) away, truckers in Spain went on strike to protest fuel prices.

Peru’s government imposed a brief curfew after protests against fuel and food prices turned violent in April. Truckers and other transport workers also had gone on strike and blocked key highways.

Protests over the cost of living ousted Sri Lanka’s prime minister last month. Middle-class families say they’re forced to skip meals because of the island nation’s economic crisis, prompting them to contemplate leaving the country altogether.

The situation is particularly dire for refugees and the poor in conflict areas such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Myanmar and Haiti, where fighting has forced people to flee their homes and rely on aid organizations, themselves struggling to raise money.