Logistics startup BlackBuck gets $70 mn from Sands Capital, others

Tiger Global-backed Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates business-to-business logistics startup BlackBuck, has raised $70 million (Rs 476 crore) in a Series C funding round.

The round was led by Sands Capital, the Bangalore-based startup said in a statement. Existing investors Accel Partners and Flipkart also participated in this round.

International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm, also put in money, the company said. IFC had, in January this year, said  it planned to invest $10 million in BlackBuck.

Other existing investors in BlackBuck include Tiger Global and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s Apoletto Fund. It is not clear whether they participated in the round.

BlackBuck said it will use the funds for expanding operations, product development and ramping up its tech capabilities.

“This round of fundraise will help us invest much more aggressively in products and technology,” said Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder and CEO of BlackBuck.

BlackBuck was founded in April 2015 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Rajesh 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 operates on an asset-light business model. It matches truckers with shippers through its online platform, and minimises down time for trucks and maximises utility of the asset for the truck operator. The company also provides support in using ancillary services such as toll cards and fuel cards to drivers with partners like non-banking finance companies and fuel retailers so that truck drivers do not need to carry a lot of cash.

“There is a tremendous opportunity in the intercity FTL (full truck load) segment for a technology player given that the industry is very fragmented and technologically less penetrated,” said Anand Daniel, partner at Accel.

The company, which offers its services in 300 locations across the country, claims to have one lakh trucks on its platform. It counts Asian Paints, Unilever, Coke, Britannia, Godrej, Marico, Jyothy Laboratories and EID Parry among its customers.

The startup had, in late 2015, raised $25 million in Series B funding from Tiger Global, Apoletto, Accel Partners and Flipkart. It had previously received $5 million in funding from Accel Partners and Flipkart.

BlackBuck competes with the likes of Rivigo, a Gurgaon-based logistics services provider operated by TrucksFirst Services Pvt. Ltd, which secured  $75 million from private equity firm Warburg Pincus in a Series C round in November last year.

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