Indonesian logistics startup Shipper is said to have raised up to $20 million in its Series A round from South Africa-headquartered global internet group Naspers and existing investors, according to two people aware of the matter.
The fresh capital will be used as extra ammunition and buffer at a time when the COVID crisis has crippled several industries, according to sources. The company will also deploy the funds to finance its expansion and hiring plans, they added.
The round was joined by return backers Lightspeed Venture Partners, Insignia Ventures Partners, and AC Ventures.
Responding to our query, Naspers said, “It is the company’s policy to neither acknowledge nor deny its involvement in any merger, acquisition or divestiture activity nor to comment on market rumours.”
Lightspeed Ventures, Shipper and Insignia Ventures have not responded to a DealStreetAsia query seeking confirmation while AC Ventures declined to comment.
Shipper last raised a $5-million seed funding round from Y Combinator, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Floodgate, Insignia Ventures Partners, and Convergence Ventures. To date, Shipper is said to have raised total funding of about $10.5 million.
Shipper enables its customers to discover the best shipping price from its network of partner logistics shippers including JNE, Sicepat, Ninja Xpress and aCommerce. It also provides an API that enterprises can plug into their apps or websites to add shipping and tracking services.
The deal comes at a time when the Indonesian logistics industry is expected to see a spate of funding transactions bucking the overall gloomy investment outlook in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has thrown deal activity out of gear.
DealStreetAsia had recently reported about last-mile delivery startup SiCepat Express and B2B logistics platform Waresix being in advanced stages of closing their fundraising rounds.
The logistics sector in the region has already clocked some major transactions in recent weeks. Ninja Van, which has a significant presence in Indonesia, earlier this month announced a $279-million fresh round after the pandemic led to a surge in e-commerce demand. Last month, Jakarta-based freight logistics marketplace Kargo Technologies raised $31 million in a Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley-based Tenaya Capital.
Industry observers predict that the B2C-driven logistics space will see greater deal traction, thanks to increased demand for last-mile delivery as more and more people order essential goods online. On the other hand, B2B logistics players may be in for tougher times with the pandemic halting shipments except for essential goods and relief supplies at destination ports.