Bengaluru-based online logistics startup BlackBuck said Thursday it has raised USD 67 million at a valuation of USD 1 billion in its Series E funding round led by Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, and VEF.
BlackBuck became the 16th Indian company this year to get into the unicorn club. Its existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and the World Bank’s investment arm IFC also participated in the round. The company has raised a total of USD 297 million via equity and debt funding from Accel, Apoletto Asia, B Capital, Goldman Sachs, and e-commerce retailer Flipkart.
Founded in 2015 by Rajesh Yabaji, BlackBuck operates an online marketplace to connect individual truckers and fleet owners with shipping companies, which increases former’s utilization of vehicles. BlackBuck claims to have about 1.2 million trucks listed on the platform and facilitates 15 million transactions monthly. For freight operators, it provides a separate app and a dashboard to compare prices and track shipments.
The company will utilize the money to improve its freight matching capabilities by strengthening its product and data science tools.
Arjun Sethi, co-founder and partner at Tribe Capital, said digital adoption in the country has graduated the supply chain and logistics industry from paper and pencil to using digital tools. “BlackBuck’s ability to measure output and productivity growth has streamlined logistical challenges for the industry over a short time frame. Its continued high-velocity growth promises to bring even greater transformation to the Indian trucking ecosystem,” Sethi said in a statement.
In an interaction with Techcrunch, Yabaji said, “When we started BlackBuck in 2015, only 40% of truck owners had smartphones, and for truck drivers, that adoption was just 7%. By 2019, 100% of truck owners and 70% of truck drivers had smartphones.”
Over the last two years, Yabaji said the company has seen more demand from small and medium-sized enterprises compared to the large corporations it used to serve in the past.