Murvah Iqbal Podcast Transcript

Murvah Iqbal Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Murvah Iqbal: [00:00:00] I always grew up thinking, oh, men do a lot of things. Why can't I do a lot of things? I always knew it was gonna start my own business. We realized how inefficient mass market parcel delivery was operating, and then we said, well, why don't we just start a parcel delivery company? It's literally looking at the entire stack from the operations to technologies, the data to how we employ people, everything, how we can be 10 x better in ways direct replacement for D B D, Hermes Yodel.

Murvah Iqbal: Which is 10 x better. So this round comes around 11 million pounds. So totally 13 million raised one other Asian girls to think, oh, she did it. I could also do it.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to The BAE HQ where we inspire connecting guide, the next generation of  British Asians. If you watch the new YouTube, make sure you hit that subscribe button and if you're listening on Apple or Spotify, make sure you leave us a five star review. Today we have with us Murvah Iqbal, who’s a Co-founder and CEO of HIVED.

Amardeep Parmar: How are you doing today?

Murvah Iqbal: Good. Uh, energetic as always.. [00:01:00] 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. We've had a good long chat before we started recording. Yeah. And probably gonna run outta time 'cause of that, but when you're growing up, yeah. And I wouldn't need to tell a particular story here 'cause you've got a really cool story. Did you ever believe in yourself?

Amardeep Parmar: Did you ever think one day you'd be able to do what you're doing today? 

Murvah Iqbal: I. Think, I always grew up thinking, oh, men do a lot of things. Why can't I do a lot of things? I was super competitive. That's probably started from my early football days, so I used to play football growing up with my brother, my older brother all the time, and so I was super competitive and always wanted to be better than him, and that just made me every day, play football.

Murvah Iqbal: And then when I was around 10 years old, I got scouted for Manchester City and then I grew up until 17 Captaining Manchester City League's football club. So lost competition in me. That's I from really early days, but also just kind of had the mindset of you can do anything you want, sort of thing. You don't have to follow the status quo.

Murvah Iqbal: Try to, you know, if they can do it, why can't I do it? I didn't really care about what it looked like or anything, just go for it. So yeah, I guess that gave me a lot of like confidence early on in saying, yeah, I can do something cool. 

Amardeep Parmar:Obviously  what you've done since then is really cool as well, but like as a football fan, it's really cool to like interview [00:02:00] like Man city captain.

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Even though Sport Man United, even then 

Murvah Iqbal: I also support Man United. 

Amardeep Parmar: Oh, okay. That's fine. So it's fine. How, how was that? If you're playing for Man City, you support Man United did you ever ?

Murvah Iqbal:, Yeah, man United didn't have a girls team for a very long time. They only started that girls team, a woman's team a few years ago actually.

Murvah Iqbal: So they're quite late Man City were really good. Uh, really early on have had a full women's football team invested a lot of money into women's football for a very long time and they're still doing amazing now. So I, yeah, I still Sport United, but I paid for Man City, but I guess you have to get comfortable with that.

Amardeep Parmar: When, when you in that team as well.

Amardeep Parmar: 'cause obviously there's not that many like Asian women in football., right? Was there many people on your team and how was that experience?

Murvah Iqbal: I was the only one on my team and anytime I played another team, I was the only one as well. It was just, I didn't realize it growing up that, oh, I'm the only sort of brown person here.

Murvah Iqbal: And then as I got older and reflected back, I was like, I was actually the only brown person ever playing. So yeah, I think I've been useless surrounding, but I, like I said, I didn't really look at myself think, oh, I'm brown, I can't do this. I just thought, oh, these people do. I can do it too. 

Amardeep Parmar: And like You didn't like ever get treated differently or anything like that?

Murvah Iqbal: No, I don't think so. I was, I [00:03:00] never let it go in the way I just. You know, it was super confident and competitive, like I said, so I wasn't treated differently at all. I think my coaches were amazing growing up with me and I think that's instilled a lot of discipline into me today and a lot of my coaches who trained me every single day, and that's helped along a lot.

Amardeep Parmar: It's great now, 'cause obviously now there's more and more women get into football and like hopefully more people from like Asian backgrounds as well. So I think it's hopefully good for them to hear as well that you had that experience so positive. 

Murvah Iqbal: A hundred percent. I think like one of the Asian girls to think, oh yeah, she did it.

Murvah Iqbal: I can also do it and we'll get a bit onto that in a bit. But I think it's super important to break the mold, uh, for future generations to say, look, oh, she did it. I can do it. And women's football's picked up crazily over the past few, which is amazing to see England obviously winning not too long ago and finally brought football home.

Murvah Iqbal: And I think that, you know, sparked a lot of young girls. Also thinking, ah, this is a thing. I can do it. When I was growing up, women's football had no attention. I could see it on the cusp, it was coming. It was this, a huge opportunity. Even today, commercially for a lot of business are tapping onto it now, but I am, it's exciting that it's finally having its [00:04:00] space to grow.

Amardeep Parmar: Did you ever think of it as a potential career? 

Murvah Iqbal: I, I. Did enter, and a lot of the girls I used to play for with are playing professionally now for England, Man City, manu night and stuff. But I didn't see it as a career. I just, I was just kind of naturally quite good at football and just enjoyed it. And I saw it as a bit of fun and in training so many times a week, playing up and down the country on the weekends.

Murvah Iqbal: I didn't see it as sort of a career or anything. I just saw me having a bit of fun. And I think growing up, think having some outlet other than, you know, school is really good, whether that's creative, whether that's music, whether that's sports. And for me, I'm super sporty and that was football, so I never saw it as a Korean or too many injuries to become  a career.

Amardeep Parmar: What did you think of as a career at that point, and what were you thinking to going?

Murvah Iqbal: I always knew I was gonna start my own business. Like from very early age. I grew up with a family surrounded by businesses, small businesses. My dad never went to University. I think he dropped out of college maybe, but he started his own business.

Murvah Iqbal: And so my dinner table discussions were around, around business. My uncles, uh, launched one of the fastest growing independent food chains in the UK called Archie's. So from around 15 years old, I helped do all the social media for [00:05:00] that. So it was quite ingrained into me that I found so much energy from business.

Murvah Iqbal: I didn't find that much energy from school. I was actually not a really good school student, but around, you know, business and sports and things like that, that's where I really felt energy. So yeah, I didn't really think anything about my career. All I knew is I was gonna start a business at some point.

Amardeep Parmar: How was that social media experience? 'cause obviously that was in the early days a bit more. Not old but

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah.

Murvah Iqbal:, No, it was, it was when I was 15, so about 2010, and I remember just saying to my uncle, look, hey, I think, you know, can I just create an Instagram for Archie's? And he was like, yeah, sure. Well, what's. You know, it's Instagram and then I remember creating the, the handle at Archie's m c r.

Murvah Iqbal: They had to change it because Archie's expanded, you know, started growing nationally. But it was a really cool experience. Had no, obviously no budget, no marketing budget, but just learned how to be creative and learn the power of marketing, I guess. Saw it grow and develop, which is amazing. And just took all those tools and that sort of sparked even further that, you know, I want to start a business.

Murvah Iqbal: I'm not particularly good at anything particular, but I just like, 

Amardeep Parmar: That's an understatement. 

Murvah Iqbal: No, is it like I don't have a specific skill or anything that I've like mastered. I just really [00:06:00] enjoyed sort of the energy from business, you know, talking about businesses, the creative side to it. Um, and I got a lot of energy from it, so I knew quite early on that it was something I wanted to do.

Murvah Iqbal: Yes, had some ideas from quite early on about businesses they were doing young enterprise at school and you know, different things like that. So that was definitely where my passion was and I knew I wanted to start a business at some point. I think a lot of, you know, Asian families kind of pressure you to do more traditional career paths.

Murvah Iqbal: I kind of said no to Medicine really early on. Um, thank you to my auntie who's a doctor. She said, no, don't do it. You're not gonna enjoy it. And I, so I kind of was brave enough then to say to my parents, Nope, I'm not doing triple signs A levels, I'm not, I don't enjoy it. And my parents were quite, you know, supportive.

Murvah Iqbal: Like, okay, whatever makes you happy. So I was quite lucky in that sense. But I never wanted a traditional sort of academic career. I, I didn't find it enjoyable. I just, I knew I always wanted to do something creative within business. 

Amardeep Parmar: When you were thinking about starting a business then, then, like after uni, what were you thinking about?

Amardeep Parmar: What was the kind of ideas you had and did you do some at uni as well?

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, so I, in my second year of university back in [00:07:00] 2016, I went to San Francisco and got exposure to all these big tech companies like, Tesla, Google, etc.. And I was like, Hmm. Oh, this is what fast growth startup is. I'd always been exposed to, um, small businesses that, you know, were growing.

Murvah Iqbal: And for me, gonna, San Francisco was a hugely eye opening. I was like, ah, this is how you disrupt an old industry. Look at Elon Musk, how he's transformed the whole car industry, um, and look at all these big tech companies and learn the science behind to startups like venture capital and all these things at that.

Murvah Iqbal: Point. I was like, Hmm, this is interesting because back in 2016, I mean the Europe ecosystem of startups come a long way, but it really was in its sort of infant stage. And in the US it was way more mature. It was normal. So after university, I came back with that wisdom. Hmm. I started reading a bit more into it, and then I got a job offer after university at consulting, worked in the firm, and then I said, No, it doesn't feel right for me, but I still didn't know what I wanted to do at that point.

Murvah Iqbal: And then, um, I was just figuring out essentially what I wanted to do. I knew if I didn't start my business early in my life, I might not ever start it later. [00:08:00] So whilst now I don't have any kids. No, no anything I. I think it was, you know, free time to kind of start a business and didn't have any ideas at all.

Murvah Iqbal: And then I met my co-founder, my current co-founder, actually in San Francisco in 2016. Um, he's super smart and we both got along. He had a lot of experience with family businesses as well. Um, and so we always connected and stayed, um, stayed close and realized, you know, we'd wanted to start a business together.

Murvah Iqbal: And so I, I had come from a background of advertising, marketing, like I said, and we saw the rise of e-commerce. Um, and. You know, everyone started shopping online. The because of, you know, the Shopify, all these things en enabled shopping online so easy. Um, and with the rise of e-commerce, you saw the rise of logistics surrounded by e-commerce, so rise in delivery vans, et cetera.

Murvah Iqbal: And I remember we sat outside Pratt one day and I saw these delivery vans sort of driving around. I was like, Hmm, why isn't it advertising and all these delivery funds, you know, you can advertise them. Bus and tubes and taxis, black cabs, you know, all these white delivery vans are traveling inside Central London all day.

Murvah Iqbal: Prime space. Why can't we, you know, advertise in them? So that was the first idea, van. It was [00:09:00] called Van, you know, advertising on Vans where we would partner up with all subcontractors. 

Amardeep Parmar: See who we did that? 

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah. Uh, Where we'd partner up with all these parcel delivery companies and display advertising, and we'd give them share of the money and hopefully in return they would transition to electric vehicles.

Murvah Iqbal: They never did. Vanverse was a small business, but it wasn't a fast growing startup, which I always wanted to put. 

Amardeep Parmar: How did that work? The transition to electric vehicles with the advertising.

Murvah Iqbal:. So we would give them a revenue share any advertising campaign, and we hope that the extra money that it would.

Murvah Iqbal: Receive would, you know, enable them to transition and buy greener vehicles. But yeah, they never did. They just pocketed the money. But it wasn't a fast-growing business. It was a, you know, it was a small business and, but for me, I really wanted to create like, you know, a unicorn, like fast-growing, huge business.

Murvah Iqbal: And so, but because we had G P S trackers installed of inside all of these vans driving in central London, we, how inefficient. Mass market parcel delivery was operating the lack of technology efficiency, how bad it was for the environment. All these diesel polluting vans in our city centers every single day.

Murvah Iqbal: Also, the working environment for the van [00:10:00] drivers, and it just seemed like an industry ripe for destruction, one of the lowest N P S scores for established industry, but also one of the fastest growing industries. Parcel delivery has a 20% compound annual growth rate. That was even before the pandemic and since pandemic, that's shifted.

Murvah Iqbal: E-commerce shopping online even further. So we were looking into it more and more, me and my co-founder, and we said, well, why don't we just start a parcel delivery company? So that was sort of the end of 2020. We decided, let's just start a parcel delivery company. 

Amardeep Parmar: So was this during the pandemic, obviously?

Murvah Iqbal: Oh yeah, yeah, kind of, yeah. Uh, we started like the concept idea phase during the pandemic, and then January, 2021, I started literally just getting on our bikes and delivering parcels and building the first version of what we built the the tech platform. And when we set out to build a parcel delivery company, we looked at it from the consumer perspective.

Murvah Iqbal: Consumers now can order food really easily, can order Ubers and taxis and everything, but you still have no control over your parcel. When you order your parcel, you're not sure when is it arriving, you know, how when's it coming, can I change it or anything. And so the whole consumer experience is really lacking the whole parcel delivery service element.

Murvah Iqbal: So when we set out to build a parcel delivery company, it [00:11:00] had to have the consumer, the recipient in mind first. So, but also the environment and the impact on that side as well. For building parcel delivery from scratch, it has to have the climate in mind. In from default. And so we built out on a few principles, one that is entirely carbon free, 10 x better delivery service in all areas in terms of the delivery experience, the digital experience, and everything about it.

Murvah Iqbal: And just passed it through for the 21st century. And that's been our, you know, kind of our ethos going forward. And it's just grown rapidly since then. 

Amardeep Parmar: What would you, if we were  trying to explain, like hived, like a sentence to somebody or like trying to explain to someone never heard of what you do before, what would you say?

Murvah Iqbal: Direct replacement for D B D Hermes Yodel. Just a 10 x better parcel delivery network, parcel delivery for the 21st century. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then,  like you said, so you're trying to do that, you had the G P S data 

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:Which enabled you to do route better than other people, 

Murvah Iqbal:Mm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar:right? And how else are you trying to stand out compares these other platforms?

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, so we're vertically integrated, so we didn't just look at one thing and think, ah, we're gonna fix routing. And that's as magic. Bullets to fix parcel delivery. It's looking at every single thing from the whole entire operations to the whole technology, the whole retail [00:12:00] experience, to the whole consumer experience, and just using modern technology and data to sort of make every element of the stack better.

Murvah Iqbal: So that's in terms of which vehicles we use. So we don't just use vans, we have a multi fleet approach. Depending on density of certain areas, there would more control for the recipient. If you wanna reschedule your delivery, if you wanna change, if you wanna come at certain time, those type of features.

Murvah Iqbal: And also for the retailer side, carbon emission. Saving scope three emissions is super hard for retailers to cut down on. They're relying on third parties, and one of the biggest things, one of their biggest things is transportation. They have to look at how it's reduced their transportation from delivery.

Murvah Iqbal: It's offering that to the customers as well. So it's not just one magic silver bullet like this is what we do and that's why it's better. It's literally looking at the entire stack. From the operations to technologies, the data to how we employ people, everything, how we can be 10 x better in ways. 

Amardeep Parmar: So obviously the people you've mentioned there as well, they're obviously already huge and established and then you coming in like at from scratch.

Amardeep Parmar: If you and your co-founder, some people might wonder how you'd be able to take this on. And I think a good example of like to relate to is like Monzo and the bank, right? Because obviously H C Box, those guys [00:13:00] exist, but because they're so established already, it's very hard for 'em to make changes to their systems.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's one which I guess you can do a lot quicker and faster than the established players. And how did you go about implementing that rise. So you had this idea of how we're gonna change it. How did you start doing that? 

Murvah Iqbal: You start by just starting. Literally. I, I, there's no, the, how we started was just literally me and my co-founder get on a bike, deliver parcels, and you can figure out then all the kind of improvements you can build the, when we built out our first database and tech architecture, built it on literally 21st century principles.

Murvah Iqbal: So, you know what, what you mentioned, all these older companies are built on archaic systems. They can't be as agile and flexible and change and implement a lot of the features at the speed that we can implement. So really doing that whole experience from yourself and literally just getting out in stock and then being really good at prioritizing.

Murvah Iqbal: What's really important first, because you can't build everything at once. What's really important? What can we not compromise on Delivery experience for us, yes, we're mission free and that's important and you know, but the delivery experience, 99% on time, first time delivery, success rate, those kind of metrics, that's what we stick to and everything we're doing is getting [00:14:00] better and making sure we're.

Murvah Iqbal: Holding those metrics, especially as we scale. We've scaled quite a lot. We see, we launched sort of in August, 2021 and now we're working with asos. We're working with Inditex Brands who and Zara, mass Moi, Berkshire Po and Bear, and lots of SME brands around London. So like candy, kittens, minor figures, pip and nut.

Murvah Iqbal: We launch with some major enterprises in the next few weeks, so it's. The where we're building something that both the merchants, retailers, and the cons consumers and rep recipients want at the same time. So being able to cater for both is difficult, but you just have to know what the customer wants, know what the customer want.

Murvah Iqbal: We have two customers. We have the recipient who's receiving the parcels, but the retailer merchants who we're delivering for. So just being really close to what do they want? And being also receptive to being able to change quickly, move quickly, iterate quickly, but making sure that we uphold our delivery statistics always.

Amardeep Parmar:  And as such a  new company, rightß

Amardeep Parmar: Getting those kind of names on board is very impressive. How did you get them on board? Like how did you, as a new company say to these huge companies like, yeah, you can trust us. We, we are gonna deliver on time. How did you get that  relationship with them? 

Murvah Iqbal: Hard work. No, I think from the [00:15:00] outset I knew, so I take on all the commercial side, all the business development, all the new business, and I knew from the outset, That, you know, dream customers, we wanna be shipping for every single big brand out there.

Murvah Iqbal: And the ASOS and the Inditex and Zara, etc., they also want, they know that their recipients, their customers want a modern experience, etc.. So it, it is kind of need an industry, but then you have to have the scale, the systems, the operations, the technologies to also be able to show them that we're serious.

Murvah Iqbal: Uh, give us your parcels, trust us. And then once you start nailing the first few customers, Everyone comes knocking on your door to work with you because they know that, you know, oh, we're working for this brand, working for that brand. The delivery experience is really good. And also the way it works is if we just do our job amazingly every single day, word of mouth travels really quickly.

Murvah Iqbal: So recipients, they'll now start badgering. So the retailers, please, can you start shipping with Hived? Please? Can you start shipping Hived? I receive my other parcels from Hived. I wanna receive more from Hived. So if we just stick to our promise and just prioritize and recipient and build an amazing delivery experience, the rest happens.

Amardeep Parmar: [00:16:00] And. Obviously you've been on a rocket ship in the last year and a half

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah

Amardeep Parmar: or two, right?. How's that experience been for you? Have you, what's been the like highlights and the lowlights for you? 

Murvah Iqbal: It's incredibly hard. Anyone always asks me like, I wanna start a business. I'm like, are you sure? If I really knew what I was getting myself into, how I would think about it properly.

Murvah Iqbal: Um, I think because I was so naive that and young that I just kind of went through it. But the highlights obviously have just been building an amazing team really. We've got a head office now of around 40, and every single one of them is absolutely incredible, and seeing their development is something that I like incredibly proud of and motivates me every single day being able to work with amazing people and also just build an amazing brand.

Murvah Iqbal: When I go out on the road and I see a high vehicle, or like yesterday, I actually placed an OR from Zop. A order from Zara and you know, Hived is delivering it. That's pretty cool. That's the highlights that makes me proud and just being able to, you know, make a tangible impact to the world. At the same time, I always wanted to create a business that had good impact.

Murvah Iqbal: And this combines all of the above the low lights though. Like you sacrifice absolutely everything. Well, we've been speaking about , you'll know how busy I [00:17:00] am. But you literally sacrifice every single hour of your day and there is no shortcut to it. There's different startups and different paces. Our ambition is to be one of the fastest growing startup in Europe.

Murvah Iqbal: I think we're on track to do so. And so that comes at a huge sacrifice at weekends. You know, birthdays not seeing your family as much as you used to, which is really difficult for me because I'm such a family person. Friends, weddings not being able to attend on, you know, or attending half there, half not really sacrificing everything.

Murvah Iqbal: And then when you do have that odd moment of free time, you just wanna connect with nature. So then you, you just disconnect from a lot of people. And it can be very lonely, it can be very isolating, but it's ent entire, it's really rewarding. It's like a love hate relationship. I love it and I hate it at the same time, but it's not easy.

Murvah Iqbal: And yeah, I would, you know, if anyone wants to start a company, just always know what they, they're getting themselves into, because I think there's a huge like glamorous side to it, and it's been glamorized a lot, but it's not that glamorous when you are in the office every single day till like 10, 11 PM at night and you're there the next day and it's not healthy, it's sustainable.

Murvah Iqbal: And you know, that's why I'm, I'm so proud now that I've [00:18:00] ma managing to build an amazing team that can re reduce that. But yeah. It's not easy. 

Amardeep Parmar: Even,  even what you said there about when you get the parcel in from like Hived yourself is almost one of those things as well. When your family first got their first parcel from Hived, they're like, oh, look what we've got.

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: Your friends and stuff as well. I can imagine like that's quite a nice moment to share with people as well.

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah. When my friends, you know, send me photos of vans or Hived cars that they've seen or, or they received a parcel that's, you know, makes me so happy. Or my other favorite things is we have a Slack channel called Team Praise.

Murvah Iqbal: Every time we get a positive Trustpilot review, it pings off that and. Every single time it pings, I look at it instantly and it makes me happy. And now even though we've got loads of reviews, it still makes me happy within time. So that is, that is really cool. But yeah, it is hard at the same time. 

Amardeep Parmar:And you  mentioned there as well about the hours and like the sacrifices involved as well.

Amardeep Parmar: And I think it's so important that like people just think as well to realize, you've got to kind of decide like you are making the sacrifice 'cause you want to grow as fast as you are. 

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:For example, you could make, not make some of the sacrifice, but grow slower. Yeah. And it's you really understanding yourself and your mission.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. [00:19:00] To make the decisions. And it's one of those things I think people, like you said, like they can't sleep into it. They've gotta decide, okay, if I'm gonna want to get to this place, I've gotta work this hard. And you can't lie to yourself about it. You've got to be honest and like, okay, do I want to do this or do 

Murvah Iqbal: I not want to do it?

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, you have to. This has to be your, like, this is my number one priority, especially when you raise venture capital and the expectation is to grow as quickly as possible and just this sort of impatient person that I am. I'm perfect at the same time. I'm like, why aren't we moving quicker? And then, you know, things just take time.

Murvah Iqbal: But yeah, you have to be aware of what you're getting yourself into. You have to be really aware because then if you're not aware and you're working, so you're gonna constantly feel upset when you're missing out on friends' birthdays and going out and seeing all your friends on holidays and you just scroll through Instagram when you're just like having a dead moment at work at like 11 o'clock and seeing everyone having a great time on Friday night, and you're like, but you have to, you have to be aware of what you're getting yourself into because I am, and I'm okay with it.

Murvah Iqbal: So generally day to day I'm very happy, but it doesn't, it is still really hard work. 

Amardeep Parmar: You mentioned  that about the venture capital side of things as well, right? Not every company should raise venture [00:20:00] capital, right? 

Murvah Iqbal: No. 

Amardeep Parmar: It depends on like your situation. Why did you raise venture capital for Hived and how did you go about doing that as well?

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, and good question. So venture capital isn't for every single company out there for sure. There's pros and cons to it. I knew that I wanted to build a unicorn very early on. I knew I wanted to build one of the fastest growing companies and really take it to as big as they possibly could take it. And with that venture capital just fuels growth and allows you to move quicker and go quicker.

Murvah Iqbal: So for me, that was from the outset, that's what I wanted to do. That's not to say that, you know, I don't think funding announcements and things should be sort of, you know, I, I know why they're important and know why they're done, but I don't think those should be celebrated as milestones. For me, the milestones we're celebrating internally is landing the new big customers or getting to that next stage or what we need to get to.

Murvah Iqbal: But, so venture capital is not for everyone. It comes with a lot of pressure because you are, you know, you have to grow quick. You have a board, you have to, you know, so you, you lose. You know, that freedom of saying, ha actually this year, next two years want to grow really slowly 'cause I want need to take it easy and things like, nope, you have to grow, grow, grow.

Murvah Iqbal: But also I wanted that as well. So it really [00:21:00] depends on what type of business you're building as well. Uh, we're a tech first company and technology has a power to disrupt old industries, but we have to move quick. But yeah, the way I went about it, so I actually led the fundraising round for our company.

Murvah Iqbal: And to be honest, I had no warm intros, no warm contacts, no nothing. Thing with the venture capital space. When we started Hived had had no friends who were startup founders, had no friends who were in venture capital. Just literally .

Amardeep Parmar: I'm glad  you carried on that. I thought you just, 'cause I had no friends at all.

Amardeep Parmar: Ah, awkward. 

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, I dunno about that. And so it was a huge big back box to me and I was like, Hmm, okay, this is interesting. I've read all about venture capital now how do I go and get some venture capital? And so sort of in around May, 2021 time, I was just making a list of venture capital funds that I wanted to speak to and came across a really cool, interesting fund called Pale Blue dot.

Murvah Iqbal: Climate tech fund out of Sweden. I was like, oh, this looks like a cool fund. I really like what the mission is really like what they're doing. I really like, you know everything about them. Oh, and then the website that had book diversity, office hours and that was like the first venture capital website that I'd seen to have done that.

Murvah Iqbal: And that gave me a positive feeling as well. So I was like, okay, I'll just book office hours. Just kind [00:22:00] of finishing off a pitch deck at this point. Really rusty. And then spoke to one of the partners, had a really good call with Heidi and Heidi said, Hey look, I think, uh, my partner, the other partner Hampus, will like this.

Murvah Iqbal: He kind of likes his space and likes companies like this. I said, Okay, cool. So she introduced us to Hampus, me Hampus, and Mathias, my co-founder, got on like a house on fire, really good energy straight away. And a few days later he gave us the term sheet. And term sheet just means sort of like intend to invest.

Murvah Iqbal: And at that point we're like, whoa, this is cool. And then at that point, um, we spoke to a few more venture capitals and Philip the round, and it happened quite. Quickly, but that was also in 2021, which is a different time now. And so that happened, and that was interesting because like I had no experience, no contact with venture capitalists now being backed by one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe, which was, which was amazing.

Murvah Iqbal: And that sort of spiraled the journey. And now we've just closed another round with, um, planet A from Germany and Maersk growth, the, the venture arm for Maersk, the big shipping logistic company. And so we have amazing backers and now it's sort of how far you know, can we take this? And I believe like [00:23:00] we're just at the really earlier.

Murvah Iqbal: At the start of our journey still. 

Amardeep Parmar: So this is  being released after you made that announcement. Right? So can you tell us how much this round was? 

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, so this round comes around 11 million pounds, and the previous round was circa 2 million, so totally 13 million raised. 

Amardeep Parmar: I think  what's interesting as well is that so many people don't think that's possible for them.

Amardeep Parmar: And like I said, venture capital isn't the goal. Venture capital can make you grow a lot faster. 

Murvah Iqbal: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:So there's lots of people out there who maybe have a company which it might not be profitable straight away, but it could make a really big impact later down the line. But they don't even try because think, oh, there's no chance I'm gonna get venture capital.

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah

Amardeep Parmar: So think it's always good to hear these stories like yours to show. It is possible for people from our backgrounds, especially people from like every diverse female backgrounds as well, because we all know there's a huge problem there. We're not enough people are getting funded. You mentioned as well before we started recording, but venture capital isn't the goal for you, right?

Amardeep Parmar: It's a means to an end. 

Murvah Iqbal: Yep. 

Amardeep Parmar:You're trying to get profitable as quickly as you can. What are some of the things that you're looking forward to in the future in terms of milestones around that? 

Murvah Iqbal: It's interesting  because in the past few years you saw like a huge influx in venture capital, investing in sales and outcome crashing down.

Murvah Iqbal: And for me and [00:24:00] my co-founder, we've always been lean and efficient as much as possible. I mean, for the money that we raise, it sounds a lot, but in terms of venture capital and start, well, there's a lot more money out there, but we purposely didn't wanna overrate too much and wanted to make sure that, you know, we felt the pressure to make sure that hitting our milestones and our goals as soon as possible.

Murvah Iqbal: You always wanna reinvest in the business. You don't, you know, you don't wanna just be profitable and just keep the money. No. You wanna reinvest into growth, growth, growth. So for the next, you know, the next few milestones for others is just making sure that every element of the business is healthy and sustainable, which we are on a really good track and making sure we're hiring the right people in the right 

Murvah Iqbal: plays and also expansion. We need the capital, you know, to expand and that's the main reason why we talk on this round. But in terms of the day-to-day business, I'm, I can set go to sleep comfortably at night knowing it's in a good state and we're using venture capital to kind of expand and fuel that growth.

Murvah Iqbal: So it's always super important to make sure your business metrics are right, always, because we saw now with the downturn is, You know, incredibly hard now to raise venture capital as opposed to what it was over a year ago. So the benchmark, you know, those standards have been, that bar's been raised, so, [00:25:00] so it's important to make sure you have a good underlying, solid business that actually work.

Murvah Iqbal: And that was, you know, the whole goal for me and my co-founders. We build a business that, you know, financially really work. So we don't have to be over reliant on venture capital and constantly fundraise. We will fundraise, ensure that we know we scale and grow quickly, but not to, you know, support the business and prop it up every day.

Amardeep Parmar: So you mentioned  as well that you want one day to become a unicorn, right? But what's the dream beyond that as well? Like what are you looking forward to? What's the moonshot idea? Like this is what. HIVED can someday be. 

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah, so I think Hived, we're in prime position to set up the infrastructure for the way electric vehicles, the whole world sort of operates.

Murvah Iqbal: You know, we're moving to, you know, we've got these huge goals as country to get to, you know, carbon neutral, etc., miles away. We're in prime position. We're so far advanced in Hived. Understanding the infrastructure needed to kind of support this shift electric. So I can't, I can't say too much, but yes, we're starting off in parcels delivery, but there's a lot more verticals that we will be going into and tapping into later this year, which we're extremely excited about.

Murvah Iqbal: [00:26:00] Logistics is the core underpinning for society, so we're not just a parcels at every company. We're going to people's homes every single day. Logistics has the power to change so many industries. We look at Amazon. Amazon is is a great logistics company as as it had built a huge platform on the back of that.

Murvah Iqbal: And we have similar ambitions, so not just parcels, a delivery company. And you know, in, hopefully later on this year, you'll see some of the other cool things that we're now leveraging off the back of our infrastructure, which I'm extremely excited about. And what keeps me up at night is like, yes, this is really cool.

Murvah Iqbal: This is where we're heading. But yeah, we're super in the forefront of the innovation in the whole EV space, but not just the EV space. But I can't say no more. 

Amardeep Parmar: So  really exciting to hear about that in the future. We'll get you on again in a year's time or so, but once it's been announced, you can talk about it because I think it's always a tough thing being like, you know, something's really exciting, we're not allowed to say yet.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And I always end up accidentally saying things I shouldn't say. So I'm always like quite careful as well now, but we're gonna have move to quick fire questions now. So first one is, who are three British Asians that you'd love to shout out that you think people would be paying attention to who are listening?

Murvah Iqbal: Yeah. Well, I have to repay the favor, Siddhi. I know she gave me a [00:27:00] shout, but generally we shared an investor, we met at barbecue one time and I think she's doing amazing things. I use Yhangry quite a lot. We use it for our team lunches quite a lot. I've used it for my own few dinner parties. Think they're building a great product and a great experience.

Murvah Iqbal: So definitely Siddhi I think she's doing amazing things. Secondly, Namrata (Sandhu), she's founder of a company called Vaayu and they're in the clima Roujia Wen, who is founder of a company called Seabound and YC backed, and um, backed by lower Carbon Capital as well and doing amazing things.

Murvah Iqbal: So three females raise venture capital who are all super inspiring to me. 

Amardeep Parmar: So next one is, if people listening right now could reach out to you for help or guidance, what should they reach out to you about? I think 

Murvah Iqbal: reach out if you are considering starting a company and wanna know the actually truth behind selling company.

Murvah Iqbal: And if you're in that phase of, should I go for it? Should I not, I'm happy to give you, you know, some advice about that. And also breaking into that venture capital space because I remember not [00:28:00] knowing how to break into that venture capital space and seeing this huge, daunting thing. So always happy to support people there, those who things I think I can help.

Amardeep Parmar: And  then on the flip side, is I, anything you need help with or. 

Murvah Iqbal: That  Hived needs help with. Ooh. Um, what do we need? Well, well, probably a lot, but I'd say just, just support us if you, you know, see Hived as a checkout option, as a com, uh, on when you're shopping, you know, select Hive for your delivery partner and hopefully you'll have a great delivery experience and, you know, hopefully we'll be delivering all your parcel soon.

Amardeep Parmar: So thank you so much for coming on. Have you got any final words to the audience?

Murvah Iqbal: Final words to the audience? I think, look, uh, I know there's not many brown females who start companies and do it, but I think it's definitely possible. I think people have to believe in themselves a bit more. And hopefully, you know, my story and stories that you've heard on that, you know, The BAE HQ before can kind of inspire you all to say like, ah, they look like me.

Murvah Iqbal: I can also do it as well instead of, you know, looking like someone that you don't look up to, that's someone that doesn't resonate with you, doesn't come from the same background. So, yeah, I think this in a, you know, you're building an amazing community here, so, um, everyone listening should just [00:29:00] continue and hopefully feel inspired.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello? Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It means a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes the world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation British Asians, if you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact.

Amardeep Parmar: And by doing that, it means we can get bigger guests, we can host more events, we can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.