How These Harvard Alums Tackle ‘Major Threat’ in Modern Logistics


Gently, an AI-powered logistics company founded by Harvard Business School classmates, has recently made its first delivery from its central distribution hub in Santa Monica to West Los Angeles. Positioning itself as a faster and more reliable alternative to Amazon for urban consumers, Gently plans to expand its operations by establishing nano-fulfillment centers in Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, and Palisades by the end of May. The company’s long-term vision is to create a fully decentralized supply chain in America by 2040, ensuring greater resilience against disruptions.

Emphasizing Urban Delivery: Gently differentiates itself by placing a strong emphasis on urban delivery. Co-founder Elian Pres-Gurwits explains that while they acknowledge not serving all areas of the United States equally, the company recognizes the unique challenges and opportunities presented by urban logistics. This focus on urban delivery allows Gently to provide a tailored and efficient service that is difficult to replicate on a national scale.

A Decentralized Supply Chain: Gently aims to achieve its vision of a fully decentralized supply chain by expanding nano-fulfillment centers that are franchised out to owner-operators. These operators hire their own drivers to carry out deliveries, enabling them to leverage appreciating assets, such as property, and generate income from the supply chain itself. By decentralizing the supply chain, Gently seeks to disrupt the competitive advantage currently enjoyed by major players like Amazon and Walmart.

Sustainable and Electric Delivery Vehicles: Environmental sustainability is a key focus for Gently. The company’s initial fleet of delivery vehicles consists of 100% electric vehicles, including Arcimoto Flatbeds and electric Brightdrop Vans. This commitment to sustainable practices aligns with the broader goal of offering an alternative to major players in the market, such as Amazon, and reducing the carbon footprint associated with urban delivery services.

Challenging the Dominance of Major Players: Gurwits believes that the logistics space needs more competition to benefit small businesses. He argues that the current dominance of major players in the supply chain, like Amazon, stifles innovation and limits opportunities for local retailers and entrepreneurs. By providing an alternative, Gently aims to drive growth and unlock new opportunities for last-mile delivery and local businesses, ultimately creating a more diverse and vibrant logistics ecosystem.

Data Protection and Ownership: Gently places a strong emphasis on protecting customer data and empowering retailers. Unlike major competitors, Gently ensures that retailers retain ownership of their customer data, enabling them to leverage it for various purposes such as upselling, cross-selling, and personalization. By giving retailers control over their customer relationships, Gently aims to create a model that benefits both businesses and consumers.

Looking Ahead: As Gently continues its journey, the company seeks major investors to further propel its expansion and impact. By bypassing the seed-round and aiming directly for Series A funding, Gently aims to secure strategic investments that will significantly enhance its proposition. With a vision of becoming the top choice for urban delivery, Gently strives to transform the industry by providing reliable, customer-centric services while driving decentralization and protecting customer data.

Gently is disrupting the urban delivery landscape with its focus on efficiency, decentralization, and customer-centric practices. By leveraging AI-powered logistics and sustainable practices, the company aims to challenge the dominance of major players and create opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs. With its commitment to data protection and empowering retailers, Gently is poised to reshape the supply chain ecosystem while providing consumers with a reliable and personalized delivery experience.

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