Gently, a new AI-powered logistics firm, marked its official launch today by delivering its first item in West Los Angeles.
Co-founded by former Harvard Business School classmates Anas Aljumaily and Elian Pres-Gurwits, Gently seeks to create a fully decentralized supply chain in America by 2040.
The firm is a last-mile delivery provider that partners with retailers and leverages artificial intelligence and predictive data to store goods closer to the customer. This helps create a more efficient and sustainable supply chain, while speeding up delivery times.
Rather than operate as a marketplace, Gently offers retailers of all sizes an alternative to major ecommerce and delivery firms and provides them with a choice of how to deliver their products. It also enables retailers to utilize their sales data to improve business performance and drive growth, instead of sacrificing it at the risk of it being used against them.
Its predictive machine learning leverages data from retail partners, consumer purchase behaviour, and third parties to predict demand spikes and supply shortages.
Inventory is stored in nano-fulfillment centers in local communities. These are provided by Gently but owned and operated by individuals, who also deliver items to customers. This enables last-mile delivery drivers to leverage appreciating assets, such as their property, instead of depreciating assets, and gives them an opportunity to generate income from the supply chain, not just from last-mile delivery.
With disruptions like natural disasters and political instability becoming more common, a decentralised supply chain model also helps protect against supply chain disruptions.
Gently has launched with three delivery drivers and will expand its team to 10 drivers in the near future. It has one fixed location and one mobile distribution centre in West LA, with plans to add three more by the end of May.
Gently is also in advanced discussions with a range of retail partners and is expected to make announcements in the next month.
Pres-Gurwits and Aljumaily became business partners after scaling various businesses across tech, fashion, and e-commerce, including the successful beauty subscription service Glossybox, where Elian served as President.
Recognizing major pitfalls in the supply chain, the pair made the move into logistics to transform the supply chain and support businesses across the US.
Anas Aljumaily, Co-founder of Gently, said: “Gently is a new type of logistics company that will level the playing field for brands and retailers. Small businesses are increasingly at the mercy of the major ecommerce platforms, tech giants, and legacy delivery companies, and we need to entirely transform logistics.”
With business applications on the rise in the US, Pres-Gurwits believes Gently’s model will help drive growth for SMBs.
Elian Pres-Gurwits, Co-founder of Gently, said: “99.9% of the businesses across the US are small businesses, and decentralising the supply chain will drive growth and unlock new opportunities for local retailers, last-mile delivery, and entrepreneurs.”
“The ‘gig economy’ has failed to live up to the hype, and bringing fulfilment centres closer to consumers provides job security and long-term certainty for those in last mile delivery.”
Pres-Gurwits added: “Our first delivery is a key step towards empowering companies to compete with ecommerce giants while maintaining their identity, autonomy, and connections to local communities.”
“LA is just the beginning; we have a rapid expansion plan in place, including new locations, retail partners, infrastructure, and additional hires.”