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BlackBuck turns unicorn after Series E funding round led by Tribe Capital, others
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Logistics-technology startup BlackBuck on Thursday said it has raised $67 million (Rs 498 crore) as part of its Series E funding round led by Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEF. 

Existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation (IFC) also participated in this funding round, media reports said citing a company statement.

The fundraise was done at a valuation of $1.02 billion, catapulting BlackBuck to the unicorn club of startups that boast a valuation of at least $1 billion. 

India has churned out unicorns at a record pace this year despite the raging pandemic,. 

Fintech firm Cred, epharmacy PharmEasy, social networking platform ShareChat, marketplace for construction materials Infra.Market, industrial goods marketplace Moglix and messaging app Gupshup were among other startups that joined the elite club of unicorns this year. 

BlackBuck, which is operated by Znika Logistics Solutions Pvt Ltd, will use the latest capital raised to expand and launch new services. Part of the funds will also be deployed to enhance product and data sciences capabilities. 

The startup was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramaniam B. The company provides B2B logistics solutions for long-haul trucking. It brings together shippers and truckers through its online marketplace to facilitate inter-city freight transport. 

“BlackBuck started with a dream to re-imagine trucking, to make it 10x simple and 10x efficient. It has been six years and we are just getting started to make a difference,” said Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder and CEO of BlackBuck. More than 90% of BlackBuck’s trucking loads are utilised by small and medium enterprises (SME) in view of the pandemic induced rise in digitised supply chains, he added. 

Its platform currently has a network of over 700,000 truckers, which operate 1.2 million trucks across India. It is registering more than 15 million monthly transactions on its platform. 

Arjun Sethi, co-founder and partner at Tribe Capital, noted that India's supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. 

"Its continued high velocity growth promises to bring even greater transformation to the Indian trucking ecosystem," he added. 

Prior to this funding, BlackBuck had raised $150 million (about Rs 1,040 crore) in its Series D funding round in May 2019 led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and venture capital firm Accel. Later that year it raised Rs 56 crore in a mix equity and debt funding round from venture debt fund Trifecta Capital. 

BlackBuck competes with the likes of Warburg Pincus-backed Rivigo and Ecom Express as well as SoftBank-funded Delhivery, which is set to float. Besides earlier this month, Delhivery said it will get $100 million equity investment from FedEx Express, a subsidiary of US based logistics major FedEx Corp.

In December last year, Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, agreed to acquire a significant equity stake in Ecom Express for $250 million. In March this year, UK's development finance institution CDC made a $20 million (Rs 146 crore) additional investment.

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