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Investcorp, others bet $110 mn on Alibaba-backed Xpressbees
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Bahrain-based alternative investment firm Investcorp and other investors have put in $110 million (about Rs 816 crore) in Alibaba Group-backed logistics company Xpressbees.

The other investors who took part in the Series E funding round included multi-stage investment firm Norwest Venture Partners and homegrown private equity firm Gaja Capital, Xpressbees said in a statement.

“We will use this investment for further automating our hubs and sort centres, increased investments in technology and to expand our delivery footprint to cover the entire country,” said Amitava Saha, CEO at Xpressbees.

The development comes barely months after VCCircle reported in August that the company had received a commitment from Investcorp.

Varun Laul, managing director at Investcorp, said Xpressbees is at the “strategic sweet spot” of consumption shift to digital and e-commerce, and economic multiplication potential of logistics in India. “Investcorp strongly believes in the digital transformation of the Indian consumer and the enterprises,” he said.

Norwest managing director Niren Shah said new-age technology-led logistics players such as Xpressbees will play a pivotal role both in the growth of the e-commerce sector in India and the transformation of the logistics industry.

Xpressbees didn’t give a breakup of the investment amount. However, The Economic Times said that the primary component of the funding round was $80 million and that the three new investors had picked up a 31% stake in the logistics company. It also said that New Enterprise Associates, Paytm parent One97 Communications Ltd and Vertex Ventures sold their stake as part of the transaction.

Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari, Xpressbees is among the market leaders in e-commerce logistics in India. It is now seeking to become a full-fledged supply chain company by foraying into express cargo, third-party logistics and cross-border logistics.

Currently, Xpressbees has presence across more than 2,000 towns and cities and has over 1,000 customers across the e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, fast-moving consumer goods, retail, manufacturing, electronics and consumer durables sectors. The company says it handles over 2 million shipments daily across the country on its network.  

Credit Suisse acted as the financial adviser to Xpressbees on this deal.

Xpressbees started as the logistics arm of Pune-based baby products retailer FirstCry about eight years ago. The business was spun out from FirstCry and commenced independent operations in September 2015. It raised its first round of funding the same year, from venture capital investors such as SAIF Partners and Chiratae Ventures.

In early 2016, Xpressbees secured Rs 86 crore from SAIF, Chiratae, New Enterprise Associates, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital.

In 2017, the company mopped up about Rs 53 crore from some existing backers and new investor One97 Communications. In early 2018, the company raised Rs 225 crore from Alibaba Group in a Series D round.

Last year, Xpressbess secured Rs 35 crore in venture debt from InnoVen Capital.

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