Innovation

Croatian Startup OptimoRoute Helps Employees Out In The Field Travel More Efficiently

A Croatian company is aiming to help companies with employees who frequently work out in the field operate more efficiently.

According to Business Insider, OptimoRoute is a route-optimization company that provides back-end software to help solve the “Traveling Salesman Problem.” While it will help companies figure out how employees-on-the-go (think doctors, couriers, salespeople, etc.) can get to their destination as quickly as possible, it also enables the workload between employees to be distributed fairly.

“We have a slider where you can adjust how sensitive you are to this fairness; we call it balancing,” OptimoRoute CEO Marin Šarić said. “So you can decide for yourself how much this is an ethical issue for your business.”

Šarić started working for Google in Silicon Valley back in 2003, helping to create the Google book search project and running its library-scanning engineering team. He took all of that knowledge back with him to Croatia to form OptimoRoute, which he co-founded with his brother Frane Šarić and Goran Kukolj.

Operating out of Zagreb, OptimoRoute currently has customers in 15 countries, including an Atlanta food delivery startup, a Saudi Arabian bakery and a London laundry-on-demand service. Šarić says the software is successful at recalculating complex routes on the fly and can boost the productivity of its users by as much as 10 percent.

OptimoRoute raised a previously unpublicized seed round in July 2016 — Šarić has refused to reveal the size of the round — but investors include San Francisco VC firm Pathbreaker Ventures, London-based Hoxton Ventures and Yelp’s CEO.

While the company is small, with less than 10 employees, it continues to grow. Šarić says OptimoRoute is close to profitability, and that there is an “85 percent chance we’ll raise a Series A in 2017.”

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