This Logistics Start-Up Raised $60 Million In Funding Round Led By Flipkart

Through this investment, Flipkart aims to unlock opportunities in grocery and fresh produce, powered by Kirana stores and leveraging Shadowfax' platform.

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Shadowfax has raised $60 million in a series D round led by e-commerce giant Flipkart, the logistics start-up said on Thursday. Others who participated in the round were Eight Roads Ventures, NGP Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset Naver Fund and World Bank-backed IFC.

Shadowfax co-founders Vaibhav Khandelwal, Praharsh Chandra, Gaurav Jaithliya and Abhishek Bansal (L-R)

“With the new round of capital infusion, Shadowfax plans to invest extensively in building long- term capabilities which are essential to developing an efficient and superior service quality ecosystem in Indian logistics,” Shadowfax’ chief executive officer Abhishek Bansal said in a statement.

The new funds will be used to develop the platform’s tech further, hire talent and rapidly grow the number of monthly shipments.

Crowdsourced, Asset-Light Model

Shadowfax has an asset-light model where it uses tech-enabled crowdsourcing.

“Let’s say you have a bicycle, you have a bike, you have a truck, you are a kirana store, you have time, you have space and you want to make money, the first thing that should come to your mind is Shadowfax,” said Bansal in an interview with Entrepreneur India.

The company’s platform has more than 100,000 registered partners to-date.

Strategic Investment By Flipkart

Walmart-owned Flipkart has an existing pact with Shadowfax for logistical needs across various categories.

According to Thursday’s statement, Flipkart’s hyperlocal approach aims to leverage existing investments of space and capital of Kirana (local retail) stores to accelerate delivery time for customers.

“Through this investment, the company will be able to further unlock the opportunities in grocery and fresh produce, powered by Kirana stores and leveraging Shadowfax’s strong technology and fulfilment capabilities,” the statement said.

The hyperlocal market in India will be worth more than INR 2,306 crore by 2020, as per a report by Ken Research.

Bansal said for a firm like Flipkart, making use of a company like Shadowfax ensures that they can compete with rival Amazon, which, with its Prime service, provides one-day deliveries.

Expansion Plans

Shadowfax, which claims to have grown 6X in the last two years, currently helps deliver 10 million shipments, ranging from hot food to electronics, each month.

With the new funds, the company said it aims to increase the number of monthly shipments to more than 100 million.

Bansal said the company would continue growing deeper into the country, and currently had no plans to expand globally.