Bengaluru-based online logistics startup BlackBuck on Wednesday announced that it has raised $150 million (Rs 1050 crore) in a Series D equity funding round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Silicon Valley-based Accel.
The round also saw participation from existing investors Sands Capital and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, while Wellington, Sequoia Capital, B Capital and LightStreet came in as new investors, BlackBuck said in a statement.
It also counts Yuri Milner-backed Apoletto and US-headquartered investment firm Tiger Global among its investors.
The latest round has taken the company’s funding to over $230 million till date.
BlackBuck said it will deploy these funds to penetrate deeper into the market, by on boarding new trucking partners along the existing as well as new transportation corridors. Besides, it will invest heavily in product and data sciences capabilities, to enable more efficient freight matching processes.
“Long Haul Road Transportation is a $150 billion industry for India. Despite being the market leaders in this space, we believe we are still scratching the surface. With this round of financing, we will invest to deepen our presence across the national market. Significant investments will be made into product development and data sciences, both these dimensions are core to BlackBuck’s marketplace approach,” said Rajesh Yabaji, CEO & co-founder of BlackBuck.
As part of this round, the employees at BlackBuck have access to liquidating 25 per cent of their total vested stocks, at the current stock price of the company, the statement added. This is the second time BlackBuck is executing a stock liquidation event for the employees of the company after 2017.
Over the last four years, the company’s employee stock option (ESOP) plan created a cumulative value of over $43 million (Rs 300 crore), and the company continues to invest heavily in this direction, it said.
Founded in 2015 by Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramaniam B, BlackBuck is a B2B tech-enabled logistics startup that brings together shippers and truckers through its online marketplace to facilitate inter-city freight transportation. BlackBuck currently has over 300,000 trucks and 60,000+ fleet owners on its platform.
The company claims that fleet owners on its platform have been able to reduce idle time by 45 per cent leading to an increase in earnings between 20-30%. This has enabled making freight more efficient for the country and has also improved driver and fleet owner earnings.
“Our asset light approach continues to enable us to dominate this market, with BlackBuck holding 90%+ of online market share of trucking in the country. While technology has helped us ensure a great shipping experience for our customers, being asset light has helped us experiment often and scale faster,” Yabaji said.
“We see enormous potential for innovation in the full truck load logistics market in India,” added Sami Ahmad, Head of Asia for Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Venture Capital & Growth Equity team. “Currently, the market is fragmented and inefficient due to highly manual and opaque processes, leading to poor experiences for stakeholders across the value chain.”
The company recorded a 59.1 per cent increase in revenue, up from Rs 566.83 crore in FY17 to Rs 901.9 crore in FY18. Its losses, however, grew by 35 per cent to Rs 116.71 crore in FY18 from Rs 86.51 crore in FY17. The startup’s well-funded competitors include Rivigo, Delhivery, Ecom Express, and Fortigo.
“We feel the asset light approach taken by Blackbuck is a capital efficient way to scale rapidly and offer high quality services & products to the road freight industry”, said Kabir Narang, General Partner and Co-Head of Asia at B Capital.