Trucking startup BlackBuck’s valuation crosses $1 bn, joins unicorn club
BlackBuck, which digitises fleet operations for the truckers, will use these funds to further penetrate the market and launch new service offerings for its customer base
Peerzada Abrar | Bengaluru
Last Updated at July 22, 2021 13:22 IST
BlackBuck, India’s leading online trucking platform, has closed a £67 million round of equity financing. The round was led by Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEF. Existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation also participated in the round.
The investment has made the Bengaluru-based company a ‘unicorn,’ or a startup valued at more than £1 billion, according to the firm. The company will use these funds to further penetrate the market and launch new service offerings for its customer base. The company will invest heavily in product and data sciences capabilities, with the aim of enabling more efficient freight matching for the Indian trucking ecosystem.
“BlackBuck started with a dream to re-imagine trucking, to make it 10X simple and 10X efficient.
It has been six years and we are just getting started to make a difference,” said Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder and CEO of BlackBuck. “We continue to dedicate ourselves for the foreseeable future to solve fundamental Indian Trucking problems. The new financing round gives us more firepower to invest in fundamentally hard trucking problems and continue deepening our reach and impact,” he said. BlackBuck is the largest online trucking platform in the country and currently drives over 90 per cent market share of all online trucking activity.
BlackBuck has a globally unique, vertically integrated approach to build the trucking marketplace. It digitises fleet operations for the truckers and operates a marketplace to help match trucks with relevant loads. The platform has close to over 700,000 truckers and more than 1.2 million trucks on its platform, and it sees over 15 million in monthly transactions.
Arjun Sethi, co-founder and partner at Tribe Capital, said India’s supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. Sethi said 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,” he said. Saadia Khairi, fund head, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, said that the firm has been impressed with how Blackbuck had continued to leverage technology.
Khairi said BlackBuck’s deep understanding of the long-haul freight market offered solutions that addressed typical pain points for both the truckers and shippers. “In the midst of the Covid pandemic Blackbuck has scaled its online freight marketplace and fleet management services rapidly,” said Khairi. “Blackbuck’s contribution to increased transparency and efficiency in the large, fragmented and predominantly unorganized long-haul freight market in India offers the potential for significant developmental impact.”
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