Trucking platform BlackBuck becomes latest Indian unicorn with $67m funding

Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder and CEO of BlackBuck. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Online trucking platform BlackBuck is the newest entrant to India’s growing list of unicorn startups, raising $67 million as part of its latest Series E round of equity financing at a valuation of $1.02 billion.

The round was led by Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEF. Existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation also participated in the round.

According to the company, the funds will be used to increase its penetration in the market and launch new service offerings for its trucking partners. The company will also invest heavily in product and data science capabilities with the aim of enabling more efficient freight matching for the Indian trucking ecosystem.

In an interaction with Mint, Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder and chief executive of BlackBuck said that the company is looking to foray into financial services and help its trucking partners with insurance and other working capital needs.

“BlackBuck started with a dream to re-imagine trucking, to make it simpler and more efficient. It has been six years and we are just getting started to make a difference. We continue to dedicate ourselves for the foreseeable future to solve fundamental Indian trucking problems. The new financing round gives us more firepower to invest in fundamentally hard trucking problems and continue deepening our reach and impact,” added Yabaji.

At present, Blackbuck provides intercity logistics services to large companies, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across all major product categories including minerals, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), to name a few.

The platform has a network of over 700,000 truckers, which operate 1.2 million trucks across India. BlackBuck witnesses over 15 million monthly transactions on its platform. It digitises fleet operations for the truckers and operates a marketplace to help match trucks with relevant loads.

“India’s supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. BlackBuck’s ability to measure output and productivity growth has streamlined logistical challenges for the industry over a short time frame. Its continued high-velocity growth promises to bring even greater transformation to the Indian trucking ecosystem,” said Arjun Sethi, co-founder and partner at Tribe Capital.

With the pandemic giving rise to digitised supply chains, more than 90% of BlackBuck’s trucking loads are utilised by SMEs, Yabaji added.

“At the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, we are excited to partner with Blackbuck in its next phase of growth. We have been impressed with how Blackbuck has continued to leverage technology and its deep understanding of the long-haul freight market to offer solutions that address typical pain points for both the truckers and shippers,” said Saadia Khairi, fund head, IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

In the past year, BlackBuck has also forayed into Europe and set up its office in Poland to disrupt the growing European logistics market.

This article was first published on livemint.

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.