Indian logistics startup Porter in talks to raise $30m at $120m valuation

Photo: Mint

Logistics startup Porter is in talks to raise $30 million in its ongoing funding round, which values it at about $120 million, said three people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

The round is expected to be led by Swiss investor LGT, through its impact investment platform Lightstone Aspada, the people said.

Founded by Pranav Goel and Uttam Digga in 2014, Porter is known as the ‘Uber for trucks’. The platform operates as a marketplace, wherein one can order mini trucks for intra-city handling from registered truck-owners.

Porter is present in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad, offering truck rentals for individuals as well as for corporate customers.

According to its website, it has over 30,000 driver-partners and has completed more than 3.5 million trips till date. The startup has annualized revenue of about $60 million ( 420 crore), said the people cited above.

“Mahindra likes taking minority positions in startups in related spaces to their business. They won’t increase their stake in the current round, but are bullish on the company and the space,” said the first person cited above.

Porter’s CEO Goel and LGT Aspada’s managing partner Kartik Srivatsa did not respond to email queries seeking comment.

LGT Aspada has emerged as an active investor in the growth stages of Indian startups in the last few months. Swiss investor LGT, a bank and fund manager with $201 billion of assets under management, acquired Lightstone Aspada from the Soros Economic Development Fund in May 2019. Following the acquisition, Porter will be the third deal it will close in the last few months, after scooter rental startup Vogo and student housing startup Oxfordcaps, which Mint reported on 26 November 2019 and 19 January, respectively.

Tech-enabled trucking logistics startups such as Rivigo and Blackbuck have seen scale over the past few years, as businesses use these services more frequently. This is also part of a larger trend where business-to-business startups have raised more capital and been valued almost at par with consumer-facing businesses. Funding in B2B startups rose 68% in 2019 to $3.7 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in 2018, according to data from Venture Intelligence, a startup data tracker.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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.