India: Logistics startup BlackBuck eyes unicorn tag; looks to raise up to $250m

Logistics in a warehouse.

Logistics startup BlackBuck is in funding talks to raise $150-250 million, as it seeks to capture the massive trucking market and take on bigger rival Rivigo, according to two people familiar with the development. The Bengaluru-based company is seeking a $1 billion valuation in this funding round, though it is unclear if investors would meet this price, said one of the people cited above.

BlackBuck (Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd) has appointed JPMorgan as its investment banker for the proposed new round, the two people cited above said.

The trucking startup has approached a bunch of investors, including Naspers and SoftBank, the people said. It has also initiated discussions with strategic investors for the fundraise, they said. None of the discussions has reached an advanced stage.

BlackBuck’s funding discussions come almost two months after it secured Rs 202 crore in a round led by new investor Sequoia Capital. The company has so far raised over $100 million from investors including Accel Partners, Sands Capital and Tiger Global.

Emailed queries sent to BlackBuck and Naspers did not elicit a response.

A SoftBank spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on speculation.”

Founded in 2015 by former ITC Ltd executives Rajesh Yabaji and Chanakya Hridaya, along with Ramasubramaniam B., a transport industry veteran, BlackBuck provides a marketplace that connects businesses with truck owners and freight operators for intercity transport of goods.

The firm recently launched an insurance offering for commercial vehicles in partnership with insurance company Acko.

BlackBuck competes with the likes of Rivigo and Fortigo.

Rivigo, the most valued logistics start-up in India at around $950 million, is in talks to raise up to $400 million, Mint reported in September.

While BlackBuck operates a marketplace of trucks, Rivigo runs an asset-heavy model, where the company owns a fleet of trucks, ensuring control over the delivery process and consistent and faster deliveries. It claims to reduce delivery time by 50-70% for customers.

BlackBuck has seen growth over the years, as it clocked Rs 566 crore in revenue during the fiscal ended 2016-17, a jump from Rs 81 crore in 2015-16, according to its regulatory filings with the ministry of corporate affairs. That said, it also experienced mounting losses: from Rs 16.5 crore in FY16 to Rs 86 crore in FY17.

Also Read:

India: Sequoia leads $27.4m financing for B2B logistics startup BlackBuck

India: Logistics start-up Rivigo Services in talks for $400m funding

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

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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. 
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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.