Growth catalyst firm ah! Ventures helps logistics-tech startup raise funds

FreightBazaar, an online platform which connects truck users and suppliers, has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round led by Omphalos Ventures India.

The funding was raised through ah! Ventures, a startup-focused growth catalyst firm that brings together businesses and investors.

FreightBazaar said that it will use the money to scale up operations and expand its presence in multiple cities, apart from automating several processes and procedures using technology.

"For the past few years, we have been working to bring structure, technology, efficiency and reliability into the way long-haul transportation has been managed in India," said Ganesh Rewanwar, co-founder and chief executive officer of FreightBazaar.

Founded in 2013 by Rewanwar and Bhaven Shah, FreightBazaar is a cloud-based business-to-business freight collaboration platform.

Run by Hyderabad-headquartered Saanvad Ventures Pvt. Ltd, the platform enables shippers and truck suppliers to manage the end-to-end transportation process including truck sourcing, freight rates negotiations, delivery tracking, payment and documentation.

"We have built a truly integrated platform that did much more than just connecting the two parties," said co-founder Shah. "It has an analytics framework to provide various real-time decision-making and historical insights for continuous improvement of companies' transport operations."

Sagar R, partner at Omphalos Ventures India LLP, said FreightBazaar's integrated offering and strong team gives it the ability to scale while running a sustainable business.

ah! Ventures, which facilitated Omphalos' investment in FreightBazaar, has previously made investments through its arms such as ah! Seeders, ah! Angels and ah! VCs. The platform was started in 2010 by Harshad Lahoti.

Earliert his year, ah! Ventures backed multichannel marketing and campaign management platform Corefactors.

Logistics-tech space

The broader tech-enabled logistics sector has witnessed considerable investor interest of late.

Earlier this month, VCCircle reported that Delhivery was planning to go public and had asked investment banks to pitch for the mandate to run the share sale.

It is slated to be the first Indian tech-enabled logistics firm to go public.

Last month, Mumbai-based Cogo Freight Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates digital freight company Cogoport, raised Series A funding from venture capital firm Accel Partners.

VCCircle reported in February that Bengaluru-based Diptab Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which operates a tech-enabled logistics marketplace for intra-city deliveries called LetsTransport, had raised $15 million from new and existing investors.

Earlier this year, VCCircle reported that Gurgaon-based tech-enabled logistics services provider Rivigo Services Pvt. Ltd had raised Rs 322.5 crore ($50 million) in a Series D round, which saw its valuation soar to nearly $1 billion.

Other well-funded peers such as Ecom Express and Delhivery have attracted private investment primarily because of their capabilities of disrupting the logistics business in India either through the use of technology or via specialised offerings such as delivery services for e-commerce as a sector.

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