Startup hastens warehouse-delivery payments as Amazon raises expectations
The last stage of moving goods from ships and trains to trucks and warehouses involves a stream of payments that is often clogged with complexity.
RoadSync, a two-year-old startup, spotted a major pain point — when goods are unloaded — for its entry into developing a cloud-based mobile payments platform replacing paper invoices, checks and cash transactions around loading docks.
“Amazon is raising the bar on efficiency standards across the entire delivery supply chain, making people in other industries take a closer look at their operations to improve efficiency,” said Robin Gregg, RoadSync’s CEO.
RoadSync focuses on warehouse operators and crews who unload goods — called “lumpers” — which have lagged behind other industries in adopting digital payments, according to Gregg.
It’s a business closely related to, but not in direct competition with, fleet and fuel card payment specialists like WEX and FleetCor that have revolutionized trucking payments in recent years.
Before joining RoadSync in 2017, Gregg worked at fleet card giant FleetCor on products and growth strategy with fuel cards, and prior to that she worked at payments startup RevolutionMoney, which American Express eventually purchased.
“At RevolutionMoney I learned a lot about payments strategy, and at FleetCor I learned a ton about commercial payments and small-business distribution, which is why I saw the opportunities for RoadSync,” Gregg said.
While fleet card payments largely focus on fuel expense management, RoadSync aims to streamline invoicing and payment collection for everything associated with deliveries that’s not fuel, and usually with a changing array of players, according to Gregg.
One of the first orders of business was rebranding RoadSync from its original name of MyLumper, Gregg said.
"We broadened services beyond paying lumper crews to include warehouse operators, freight handlers and related logistics-industry suppliers, she said.
There is little direct competition so far in RoadSync's niche.
“Most participants in this industry were using Square, if anything, to speed up payments,” Gregg said.
RoadSync has created a platform with tools specific to logistics industry payments, including supplier and carrier lists to streamline transactions by automatically populating details.
Most recently the company introduced Express Deposit, enabling customers to receive payments immediately after transactions are completed via debit push payments, versus two to four days. RoadSync created the service through its integration with Stripe, Gregg said.
Revenue comes from RoadSync's platform user fees and also from Express Deposit, she said.
One analyst said RoadSync’s Express Deposit product underscores how debit push payments can provide documentation and assurance of collected funds to solve a business case that’s been a perpetual headache for years.
“If truckers don’t have good funds when they arrive at the warehouse they need to track down the person who can make the payment, and make sure the funds are received before they unload their truck, which can waste a lot of time,” said Sarah Grotta, director of debit and alternative products advising at Mercator Advisory Services.
Still in a relatively early stage, RoadSync has raised about $3 million from private investors since entrepreneurs Akmann Van-Mary and Ryan Droege founded the concept in 2015 after participating in Flashpoint, an Atlanta-based incubator, rolling out services in 2016.
“As we rebranded early last year we saw opportunities to serve the logistics industry more broadly with the overall goal of getting drivers and crews paid efficiently and back out on the road,” Gregg said.
RoadSync also developed a mobile app that enables users to create digital invoices, generate receipts, and track and oversee services with new data streams to analyze operations.
“What’s new for this industry is the ability to make payments happen on the spot, from a mobile device or desktop, to speed up the flow of funds and overall lower costs,” Gregg said.