India: Alibaba to invest $10m in e-commerce logistics startup XpressBees

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings is pumping in $10 million in Pune-based e-commerce logistics startup XpressBees, revealed the company’s filings.

“This investment appears to be an extension of the Series D round raised by XpressBess in 2017. Alibaba had invested $35 million in that round via ‘Alibaba.com Singapore E-Commerce Private Limited,” said business signals platform paper.vc.

XpressBees is allotting 9,317 Series D1 compulsorily convertible preference shares at a price equivalent to $1,073.306 each to Alibaba. The decision for this investment was taken in an extraordinary general meeting of the members of the Busybees Logistics Solutions Pvt Ltd (XpressBees) on December 16, 2019.

Founded by Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari in 2015, XpressBees is a spun out of baby and maternity products retailer FirstCry. Its services include first and last-mile delivery and reverse logistics with facilities, such as real-time tracking, multiple payment collection and processing options.

Earlier in February, XpressBees had raised Rs 35 crore in debt funding from InnoVen Capital. Alibaba was looking to invest up to $100 million in XpressBees, per the previous media reports. Paytm as well as venture capital funds such as SAIF Partners and Chiratae Ventures are among the investors in the logistics startup.

Investor interest in India’s e-commerce logistics segment is on a rise. Other prominent logistics platforms to have recently raised funding include Ecom Express, SoftBank-backed Delhivery, Goldman Sachs-backed BlackBuck, and Warburg-backed Rivigo.

Rivigo is raising a Series F round of Rs141.97 crore ($20 million) from its existing investors SAIF Partners India VI Ltd and Spring Canter Investment Ltd, Mint reported earlier this month. In another deal this month, UK’s development financial institution CDC Group announced that it had closed an equity investment of $36 million in Ecom Express.

Last month, BlackBuck has raised about $7.8 million (Rs 56 crore) in a mix of debt and equity funding from venture debt fund Trifecta Capital.

In September, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) announced that it had invested $115 million in SoftBank-and Carlyle-backed Indian logistics startup Delhivery Pvt Ltd, in a bid to broaden its exposure in the country’s logistics sector.

The e-commerce retail industry in India has grown substantially driven by increasing internet penetration, smartphone usage and language diversity on e-commerce platforms. Further, adoption of digital wallets has become more widespread now, aided by overall shift towards digital payments. Consequently, the e-commerce retail logistics industry has grown at a brisk rate.

The e-commerce retail logistics market was valued at $1.35 billion in 2018, and is projected to witness a growth of ~36 per cent in the coming five years, per a 2018 KPMG report.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.