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Sands Capital, IFC invest more in logistics-tech startup Blackbuck
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Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates business-to-business tech-enabled logistics startup Blackbuck, has raised Rs 87.02 crore ($12.43 million at current exchange rates) from existing investors.

According to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies, existing investor Sands Capital led the round putting in Rs 50.78 crore ($7.25  million at current rates), while International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank, accounted for the remainder.

In October this year, the logistics firm had raised Rs 202.96 crore ($27.4 million) in a round led by new investor Sequoia Capital. Existing investors Sands Capital and Accel had also put in money.

Back-of-the-envelop calculation by TechCircle shows that the new round valued Blackbuck at $202-207 million (Rs 1,413.47-1,448.46 crore).

It is not clear whether the latest funding exercise is part of a larger funding round. E-mail queries sent to Blackbuck in this regard did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

Last month, The Economic Times had reported that Blackbuck was in talks to raise anywhere between $150-250 million in a fresh funding round from potential investors, including SoftBank and Naspers.

Blackbuck

The venture was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramaniam B. The company provides B2B logistics solutions for long-haul trucking. It brings together shippers and truckers through its online marketplace to facilitate inter-city freight transportation.

Blackbuck, which is currently present in over 1,000 locations across the country, has more than 200,000 trucks and over 8,500 shippers on its network.

The firm counts Asian Paints, Unilever, Coke, Britannia, Godrej, Marico, Jyothy Laboratories and EID Parry among its clients.

The three-year-old venture is among the well-funded startups in the logistics-tech space. With the latest funding round, it has raised close to $140 million in external funding.

FY18 revenue grows, losses widen

For the financial year 2017-18, Blackbuck saw its operating revenue rise by nearly 58% even as losses widened on account of higher expenses.

The firm’s financial statements with the RoC show that operating revenue grew to Rs 888.76 crore, up from Rs 563.55 crore in the previous year. The company’s operating revenues are based on services related to inter-city long haul logistics.

Net losses widened to Rs 1,16.71 crore, up from Rs 86.51 crore in the previous year.

The company’s gross expenses grew 55% to Rs 1,018.61 crore, up from Rs 653.34 crore the previous year. The rise in expenses was attributed to a significant rise in ‘other expenses’, which stood at Rs 940.18 crore. This included transportation costs which was Rs 880.03 crore, accounting for almost 93% of other expenses. In 2017, other expenses accounted for a large share of the total expenses at Rs 606. 84 crore.

E-mail queries sent to Blackbuck seeking comments on its latest financial performance did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Deals in the space

Earlier this week, Delhivery, another well funded player in the logistics space reported a 38% rise in operating revenue for the year through March 2018, even as its losses widened due to higher expenses.

Last week, TechCircle reported that LetsTransport, a tech-enabled logistics marketplace for intra-city deliveries, raised Rs 100 crore (around $13.5 million) in a Series B round co-led by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International and strategic investment firm Bertelsmann India Investments.

Earlier this month, tech-enabled logistics startup Freightwalla raised an undisclosed sum from venture capital firms Kae Capital and San Francisco-based Tekton Ventures.

In November, FarEye, a logistics management firm in the SaaS acquired Internet of Things-powered freight logistics marketplace Dipper for an undisclosed amount.

Pune-based logistics startup ElasticRun raised close to Rs 60 crore ($8 million) in a round co-led by existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.

In September, VCCircle reported that Delhivery had put plans for an initial public offering on the backburner and was seeking fresh private funding.

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