uParcel, a Singapore-based delivery platform, announced Wednesday it has secured S$2 million ($1.48 million) pre-Series A funding from billionaire deep-tech technopreneur Shi Xu.

uParcel said in a statement that it will use the latest funding to accelerate regional expansion and continue to scale its platform by expanding into adjacent products.

It will utilize the investment to deepen its research on big data and AI with Singapore’s universities to develop scalable delivery infrastructure and solutions. It will also be expanding into more cities in the region.

“uParcel’s AI-powered delivery platform has enabled the delivery of essentials from meat to medicine within hours, which is critical during the pandemic and beyond with the change in customers’ needs. We can efficiently cluster deliveries and match them to our extensive network of delivery partners to maximize productivity,” said Ng Wee Leong, Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of uParcel.

“At the same time, we lifted the community by providing avenues to earn extra income through delivering on our platform. We are honored to have Shi as our investor and advisor. He is one of the pioneering leaders in Singapore’s deep-technology development, and his investment is a strong vote of confidence in the potential of uParcel’s technology and value propositions,” Ng added.

Nanoflim Technologies International Limited Founder and Executive Chairman Shi Xu also said that uParcel’s AI logistics technology has wide applications in the increasingly digitalized world and serve as the bridge between e-commerce and consumers, and the vast general data and experience generated from the deliveries can be used to build complementary products that are highly scalable.

uParcel is Singapore’s technology-driven same-day delivery platform that has planned, matched, and optimized millions of deliveries. Backed by data and a decentralized distributed model, it provides point-to-point delivery without asset-heavy centralized sorting infrastructure. Deliveries are clustered by proprietary algorithms and efficiently matched to a vast network of delivery partners dynamically. The company currently has a presence in Singapore and Malaysia.

Backed by its core platform technology offering significant value in the marketplace, the company is posting significant growth in 2021, doubling revenues yearly and overall group profitability.

While the COVID-19 situation carries challenges, the well-positioned business platform has benefited as the market pivots towards the adoption of same-day deliveries in the region.

uParcel’s innovation has enabled this shift and facilitated various industries, including food, groceries, telemedicine, industrial spares, and many more, to ride the e-commerce wave and continue delivering products to their customers through the crisis.

The company’s AI solution also changes the way of deliveries by offering optimization in three levels: (1) single collection points, (2) multiple collection points, and (3) enroute, providing the most optimal bundles of deliveries in a given delivery window. It reduces the total distance traveled and the marginal cost of each additional delivery added to the driver. And as a result, it also reduces carbon emissions from the delivery fleet.

Shi founded Nanofilm in 1999 based on the filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) technology he invented when he was tenured in academia at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Nanofilm has since grown and became Singapore’s technology unicorn listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in October 2020.

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