The investments come from Tiger Global, Accel Partners, Flipkart and Yuri Milner’s Apoletto
Tech-enabled logistics is probably one of the few sectors in India that has seen strong investor interest in this calendar year. The growth of the sector is mainly attributed to the fast-growing e-commerce industry.
Offline businesses, however, have also started relying on third-party tech-enabled logistics services to move products from city to city, beating the notorious traffic snarls and other infrastructural issues in Indian cities.
BlackBuck is one such company helping businesses to move products between various cities. This one-year-old startup has just raised a whopping US$25 million in Series B investment, just months after bagging a US$5 million Series A round.
The latest investment came from US-based Tiger Global, which has been arguably the most active VC investor in India for the past two years. Accel Partners, along with Apoletto (a fund run by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner) and e-commerce giant Flipkart, also participated.
The Bangalore-based B2B logistics startup will use the proceeds from this round to ramp up expansion, build products and set up the team.
BlackBuck was founded in 2014 by the trio of Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramaniam.
An online marketplace for logistics transactions, the startup helps customers move full truck loads between cities. It brings truckers and customers together on a platform to execute the transaction using intelligent auction engines equipped with smart mobile interfaces.
According to BlackBuck, the current mode of transportation is executed through a market structure which results in multiple inefficiencies for both trucker and customer. The customer faces issues of quality of transportation, availability and pricing. The truck owner, on the other hand, is unable to find the right price in the market, sweat the asset and safeguard against malpractices. BlackBuck aims to address these perennial issues with technology.
BlackBuck currently employs 200 people and has a presence in 40 locations across India. It now plans to expand its footprint to 200 locations over the next year.
Its customers range from corporates to small businesses that include Asian Paints, Unilever, Britannia, Godrej, Marico, Jyothy Laboratories and EID Parry.
“Transportation is the largest unorganised sector globally. In India, the freight industry is estimated at US$100 billion and contributes to six per cent of GDP. A majority of this is inter-city logistics,” said Rajesh Yabaji, Co-founder and CEO of BlackBuck.
“However, the commerce of this industry is unorganised, fragmented and conducted offline. BlackBuck has been formed to re-create logistics commerce with technology at its core, which would enable logistics be simple and effective,” he added.
“The startup ecosystem in supply chain is very exciting and a great boon for the country, especially as our current supply chain infrastructure is not very reliable. Our investment in BlackBuck is a continuation of our strategy of developing and integrating this ecosystem. BlackBuck brings in new tech capabilities that will not only strengthen Flipkart’s supply chain, but will also pave the way for innovations in this area,” said Binny Bansal, COO and Co-founder of Flipkart.
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