Flipkart founder and group chief executive Binny Bansal has been appointed to the board of directors of business-to-business logistics startup BlackBuck, a person directly familiar with the development told VCCircle.
Bansal joined the company’s board after Neeraj Aggarwal, former vice president of supply chain operations at Flipkart, quit the e-commerce firm and stepped down from BlackBuck's board in April this year, the person mentioned above added. Aggarwal subsequently held stints at homegrown cab hailing major Ola and health-tech startup Curefit, where he currently serves as vice president of operations.
Saikiran Krishnamurthy, the former head of Flipkart’s logistics unit, eKart, was also part of the board at BlackBuck.
BlackBuck and Flipkart did not respond to e-mail queries from VCCircle, seeking confirmation.
Flipkart is one of BlackBuck’s existing investors. In 2015, the logistics startup raised $5 million in its Series A round from Accel Partners and the homegrown e-commerce major. Flipkart also participated in the startup’s subsequent $25 million Series B round in December 2015 and the $70 million Series C round in March 2017.
At the time of the Series B funding round, Bansal had said that BlackBuck would build products that both companies could use and would leverage Flipkart’s tech products in logistics. However, the two-year-old logistics startup does not yet provide e-commerce solutions and Flipkart is not its customer.
In July this year, BlackBuck appointed former Bluestone executive Arvind Singhal as its chief operating officer.
Besides the regular funding rounds, BlackBuck has also secured venture debt funding. Earlier this month, it raised Rs 50 crore ($7.69 million) from InnoVen Capital, the venture debt arm of the Singapore Government’s sovereign fund, Temasek, to diversify its service offerings.
In a recent interaction with VCCircle, BlackBuck’s co-founder and CEO Rajesh Yabaji said that the company uses the funds it receives to build products. He also added that the company is looking to break even in a couple of quarters.
Bangalore-based BlackBuck, operated by Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2015 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramaniam B. The company focuses on B2B logistics solutions for long-haul trucking. Its technology platform brings together shippers and truckers through its online marketplace to book freight for inter-city transportation. The company counts Asian Paints, Unilever, Coke, Britannia, Godrej, Marico, Jyothy Laboratories, and EID Parry as its customers.
eKart has also recently set aside funds as part of Flipkart’s strategy to strengthen its logistics play.
Earlier this month, VCCircle had reported that eKart had allocated Rs 3,000 crore ($460.7 million) for investments, acquisitions, and inter-corporate loans. This was over and above $147 million that Flipkart injected into eKart earlier this month.