Addresses have historically been a pain point for individuals and businesses that have to deal with them regularly. It is not as much of a problem in some developed countries where urban planning has been actively encouraged. However, in many Southeast Asian countries, addresses can be non-existant or span multiple lines, causing navigating to them to be challenging at times.

Despite technological advances motivating innovations in the logistics industry, especially when one acknowledges that drone-assisted deliveries are already being piloted in Southeast Asia, the entire industry is still reliant and somewhat held back by complex postal addresses. As it stands today, addresses have not changed much since their introduction decades, if not centuries, ago.

Also read: Bukalapak to build R&D centre for machine learning, drone delivery in 2018

It has been estimated that the percentage of locations in the world without an address is quite significant. Existing addresses also have their fair share of problems because they are prone to misspellings, difficult to verify and sometimes confusing to navigate to.

Logistics companies suffer heavy losses every year dealing with these issues, in terms of money, manpower and reputation. In Thailand alone, 70% of ecommerce purchases are still paid for using Cash on Delivery (COD) meaning transactions need to be delivered to be paid for.

Startups are out to change this across the developing world. To highlight, Naviaddress is a digital addressing system being deployed onto the blockchain. It will provide people and businesses with freedom and ability to create, obtain, own, lend and sell their digital addresses.

By reconciling the concept of long location addresses with a short, easy-to-memorise and communicate sequence of digits (they call it the “naviaddress”), the platform aims to give every place a unified digital IDs for any place and object in the real and virtual worlds an address. The entire system is built around assigning places with numbers of up to 18 digits in length.

Every such address is able  to function as “a smart address” because users can assign and store relevant information such as “last mile” navigation (embedded geographical coordinates, physical address, hours of operation, route description, photos and other relevant information), which makes it easier to find complicated, remote locations or newly built structures.

The company’s whitepaper further explains that the first few digits will be reserved to identify the country, exactly like it is done with mobile numbers today. Beyond that, the platform offers different types of the addresses: postal and custom addresses for free usage, as well as premium ones (1-5 digits), which will be paid by users. The Naviaddress app will allow users to create, share and find naviaddresses, but also build a route to a naviaddress or call an Uber taxi in one click.

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The problem of unverified addresses due to mistakes in address spelling, address verification and “last mile” navigation is a common pain for delivery operators and e-commerce platforms. Naviaddress makes it possible to provide accurate locations for e-retail and delivery services.

Local HoReCa — hotel/restaurant/cafe — and retail outlets are not authenticated for international tourists and expats and remain largely inaccessible. Once on the blockchain, Naviaddress will provide authentication and easy last mile navigation for local HoReCa and retail outlets. The latter is due to the lack of language-specific addresses. There are only digits on the digital address, which is easy to find, share and communicate.

As of January 2018, there are 1.5 million addresses in the system, including 1.3 million businesses, with the total number of registered active app users exceeding 60,000 people (including web, iOS and Android). They are building partnerships with large address holders in delivery, e-retail and HoReCa businesses, such as booking.com, DPD, and plan cooperation with State Postal Services, AliExpress, Amazon, NinjaVan, etc.  to share verified addresses with the platform.

Also read: Singapore startup Ninja Van officially rolls out last-mile logistics services to Thailand

With over $5.6 million raised during Private Sale and aim to raise $25 million in total during ICO, there is enough traction to partner with some major players in the region and help make day to day navigation, urban planning, and logistics more optimised and efficient.

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