Logistics tech startup BlackBuck drives into unicorn club with $67 million funding


Bengaluru: Online trucking platform BlackBuck said on Thursday it has raised $67 million in new funding led by Silicon Valley-based venture fund Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEF.

Post the funding, the Bengaluru-based startup is now valued at over $1 billion, becoming the 16th Indian unicorn to enter the prized unicorn club this year. These are privately held companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more. ET reported that the last six months have been record breaking for domestic startups as they’ve raised record capital.

Blackbuck’s existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and IFC—the World Bank investment arm—have also participated in the round. The company was valued at around $850 million when it last raised financing in 2019.

The company will use these funds to further expand and launch new service offerings for its customer base. Blackbuck’s cofounder and CEO Rajesh Yabaji told ET that the company will use the new capital to invest heavily in product and data science capabilities to strike better efficiency in freight matching for the Indian trucking ecosystem. Going forward, the startup will also scale its financial services and insurance offerings through partnerships.

Besides BlackBuck, other startups that have turned unicorn this year include Urban Company, Zeta, Meesho, Groww, BrowserStack, Cred, and PharmEasy among others.

“Except for ecommerce, no other sector did well in the logistics space. Truck owners did not have enough jobs for multiple months. So, even for us it was important to work through this pandemic and give better offerings. This round is a validation of our story,” Yabaji said.

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According to Yabaji, the company has now seen a shift in demand with most of it coming from small businesses, brokers and large-scale outfits as against major enterprises before.

“Over the last two years, digital adoption has grown wider… We have seen a 20X growth in supply side while there has been a 10X growth in demand over the last two years,” he said.

“India’s supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. BlackBuck’s ability to measure output and productivity growth has streamlined logistical challenges for the industry over a short time frame,” said Arjun Sethi, cofounder and partner at
Tribe Capital. The fund made its first India investment last year when it backed logistics aggregator Shiprocket. The Silicon Valley-based investment firm was founded by former executives of Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital.

Founded in 2015, BlackBuck digitises fleet operations for truckers and operates a marketplace to help match trucks with relevant loads. The platform has nearly 700,000 truckers and over 1.2 million trucks on its platform clocking over 15 million monthly transactions. It has raised nearly $300 million since inception through equity and debt funding. Accel, Apoletto Asia, B Capital, Flipkart, Goldman Sachs are some of its other investors.



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