Meet the fast growing Aussie start-up that is distributing weed in the US

From Australian Anthill

After signing some large US partners early this year, Melbourne delivery software start-up Swift needed to set up an office to support their fast growth in the US.

Now on top of the grocery chains, pizza stores and alcohol delivery start-ups they are already working with, they have brought medical marijuana distributors on board too.

“One of the companies we work with are the Uber for medical marijuana delivery,” co-founder and CEO, Joel Macdonald (pictured) revealed.

“Another is a much larger network that acts as the distribution aggregator between local dispensaries in greater Los Angeles area.”

Swift makes it super easy for businesses to dispatch, track and manage their mobile workforce.

Both small and large businesses use Swift: food, grocery, floral, transport, courier, e-commerce and serviced based operators who have drivers or specialists on the road.

Swift helps them streamline how they dispatch these mobile workers, optimise routes and reduce their customer support workload (and hence overheads too) by sending their customers Uber-like tracking, mapping and job status alerts.

“We also work with a number of start-ups in the transport, delivery, or serviced based space who have identified it doesn’t make any sense to build their own fleet management or mobile workforce platforms for hundreds of thousands of dollars when they can use Swift for cents per transaction.”

How did Swift end up working with US weed distributors?

“This is such a new and exciting space that a lot of these companies are looking for solutions like Swift without having to build their own delivery management tools,” Joel said. “One found out about us online and made contact and another was recommended by word of mouth.”

“They came to us as they were growing really fast and they wanted to streamline their dispatching, tracking and management processes right through to ensuring feedback from their customers was collected in real-time via Swift’s SMS alert system.

“Three members on their team were spending all day manually assigning jobs to drivers via phone calls and SMSing their drivers and at the time had no visibility on their drivers or what the status was for each job.

“So not only did their customers have delivery anxiety but the company management had no control or visibility either over where all the drivers and jobs were in real-time which was highly unproductive.”

It all started with another start-up

Swift was founded in 2013 by Joel, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, Rohan Bail and James Strauss. It was created initially for their other company,

“At the time we were in desperate need to streamline our delivery dispatching to the closest driver and utilise the capacity in the area to ensure optimal task assignment and routing was executed automatically,” Joel said.

“We also wanted to enable customers to track their delivery in real-time and send them alerts every step of the delivery journey to completely remove their ‘delivery anxiety’ about where their order was but also to save us having to answer customer contact enquiries all day.

“We built and implemented Swift to our operation and something amazing started happening. Customer contact enquiries dropped by 65 per cent so our support/operations team could get more done during each shift.

“We noticed customer service feedback ratings increased by 40 per cent with the new tracking map feature. Drivers for Liquorun were able to get 1.1 extra deliveries done per hour once we introduced the Swift smart dispatch and routing feature.

“We saw so many efficiency gains at Liquorun after Swift was created that we then decided to make Swift a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) available to the public and was created.”

The start-up is now all over the world; Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Russia, Jordan, Dubai and South Africa and has closed both a seed and angel round with investors following on in each round.

“We are about to open up another round where we will be meeting with a number of investors in the US and AUS within the next month to enable us to invest further into sales and engineering to support our growth,” Joel further disclosed.

“We are currently rolling out a number of partnerships in Australia and the US: two of Australia’s big pizza chains and one household name in the fast food space, one national online food ordering platform, three courier and delivery services, a national e-commerce grocery delivery service.”