Logistics-tech startup ElasticRun hauls in $40 mn from Prosus Ventures, others
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Logistics and distribution firm ElasticRun has raised $40 million (approximately Rs 283.97 crore at current exchange rates) in a funding round led by Prosus Ventures, formerly known as Naspers Ventures.

Existing investors Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.

The Pune-based firm will use the funds to expand its footprint and increase its categories apart from enhancing its technological infrastructure, analytics and machine learning platforms, ElasticRun said in a statement.

The Mumbai-based Avendus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to ElasticRun on the transaction.

Sandeep Deshmukh, co-founder and chief executive officer at ElasticRun, said the firm was helping solve the issue of last-mile connectivity for logistics and consumer goods companies.

Separately, Pankaj Naik, executive director and co-head at Avendus Capital, said ElasticRun’s business model was helping corporates across sectors to expand their reach. “We believe the company is strategically placed to redefine the FMCG and logistics market,” Naik added.

ElasticRun, which is operated by NTEx Transportation Services Pvt. Ltd, was founded in March 2016 by Sandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam and Shitiz Bansal. Its technology platform can build aggregated transportation capacity in tune with the requirements of its varied clientele.

The startup eliminates fixed set up costs by aggregating resources across channels, thus helping its customers reduce logistics spending. The company caters to clients in e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, food and automotive sectors.

In October last year, the startup raised close to Rs 60 crore (around $8 million) in a round co-led by Norwest Venture Partners and Kalaari. Prior to that, it raised $7 million (Rs 45.5 crore then) as part of a Series A funding round from Norwest and Kalaari in April 2017.

Deals in the logistics-tech segment

Investor interest in the logistics and logistics-technology segment has grown, as startups seek to provide new-age services at scale and affordable prices. Apart from ElasticRun, a number of ventures have raised a large amount of capital. These include the Softbank- and Carlyle-backed Delhivery, Warburg Pincus-backed Ecom Express and the Goldman Sachs-backed BlackBuck.

In September, early-stage venture capital firm Rockstud Capital, Artha Venture Fund and a few angel investors committed $1.1 million (around Rs 7.90 crore) in Everest Fleet Pvt. Ltd.

In July, Rivigo Services Pvt. Ltd raised $65 million (around Rs 444.66 crore) in its Series E funding round, which was led by Warburg and SAIF Partners. In the same month, logistics platform Freight Tiger said it raised $8 million in a funding round led by existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. Alsthom Industries Ltd, which is a cement grinding unit of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd, and the Pawan Munjal Family Trust also participated in the round.

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