Indian Online Logistics Startup BlackBuck Bags $150 Million in Series D Funding
Logistics startup dealing in the trucking domain edges towards being a Unicorn as it generates millions to penetrate the market more thoroughly
The geographical vastness of India is a reason that makes trucking business widely prevalent in India for ages but the market is still dominated by traditionally operated tens of thousands of unorganized intermediaries.
In this "non-tech" sector, Bangalore based BlackBuck that caters to the trucking industry has just wrapped up its Series D round of funding envisioning to bring out an altogether different image of the sector. From this very recent Series D round that was led by leading investors like Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Silicon Valley-based Accel, Wellington, Sequoia Capital, B Capital and LightStreet Capital; a whopping $150 million or INR 1050 crores was raised from the round of equity funding. The round also saw participation from existing investors Sands Capital and International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank.
Raising such a bulky amount from funding, the company has struck its gong attaining over $230 million mark in the total funds generated so far.
The "Non-tech" Fragmented Sector
Rajesh Yabaji, CEO & Co-Founder of BlackBuck is both apprehensive and excited about the market state and pinpoints that the market is highly fragmented on both the shippers' and truckers' side. "Long Haul Road Transportation is a $150 billion industry for India. Despite being the market leaders in this space, we believe we are still scratching the surface," he states.
Although wrapped with challenges, its potential has convinced the prominent investors to take a keen interest in the sector. "We see enormous potential for innovation in the full truckload logistics market in India," says Sami Ahmad, Head of Asia for Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Venture Capital & Growth Equity team, vouching for the sector. At the same time, he highlights the inadequacies, "Currently, the market is fragmented and inefficient due to highly manual and opaque processes, leading to poor experiences for stakeholders across the value chain."
Channelizing the Fund
Technology has the power to hold the reins of the sector and direct it in the right direction. Having founded the company in 2015, BlackBuck has currently brought more than 300,000 trucks and 60,000+ fleet owners under its radar. BlackBuck uses technology to match a trucker with a shipper real-time, enabling transparency, higher truck utilization, better shipper services levels, and efficient pricing. It also facilitates services around trucking, by providing fleet cards, tyres, IoT, insurance and working capital credit to truckers. That is their journey so far.
Going ahead, with the $150 million funds, the digital trucking company has strategized its more elaborate operations. Its strategic operations include entering the untapped markets. Other than that the company is looking forward to investing heavily in product and data sciences to inject more efficiency in the freight matching processes in its infrastructure. "With this round of financing, we will invest to deepen our presence across the national market. Significant investments will be made into product development and data sciences, both these dimensions are core to BlackBuck's marketplace approach," says Rajesh Yabaji, CEO & Co-Founder of BlackBuck.
Introducing technology to the "non-tech" sector has enabled transparency and trust to a previously opaque market where transactions were clouded and driven by personal relationships. Every transaction in the freight platform is online. Data sciences play a key role in ensuring the optimization of the company's operations from the loading of the truck until the truck unloads.
"We digitize all the transactions of a fleet owner and provide the truck owner with fleet management support. Services such as Fuel, Toll, Tyre, etc. are given with the click of a button and this, in turn, facilitates cashless transactions. Apart from this, we also provide working capital financing to a truck owner and this entire process is done online," he concludes.