Logistics marketplace The Porter raises INR 35 crores from Sequoia, Kae Capital and others
Porter, an online logistics marketplace, has raised INR 35 crore in Series A funding from Sequoia, Kae Capital and other investors. The investment will be used to facilitate geographical expansion, improve existing products and solutions, as well as help recruit talent. The company has also partnered with three strategic angel investors who will help strengthen Porter’s operations and guide them in their next phase of growth. These include - Rajeev Chitrabhanu - CEO and Managing Director of JM Financial Services Pvt. Ltd., Anupam Mittal - Founder of People Group and Sandeep Tandon – Co-Founder of FreeCharge.
Founded in August 2014 by Pranav Goel and Uttam Digga from IIT Kharagpur and Vikas Choudhary from IIT Kanpur, Porter is an aggregator of light trucks and allows businesses and consumers to hire trucks and tempos on demand for their intra-city pickup and delivery needs. Porter claims to have 300 vehicles handling 10,000 transactions every month in Mumbai and NCR, with plans to ramp up to six cities in the next one year.With the help of technology and a mobile app for truckers, Porter aims to offer a standardised service and drive higher utilization of trucks. This allows them to offer a cost-effective service, around 20-30% lower than the market price to their customers which include brick and mortar stores, furniture and electronics stores, FMCG companies, grocery stores and e-commerce players. Within a year of operation, the company has also built a portfolio of customers which include the likes of Godrej, Reliance, ITC, Urban Ladder, Delhivery and Aramex.
Porter provides reporting and intelligence tools that allow businesses real-time monitoring of the vehicles they use. The company is also developing APIs that would enable SMEs and start-ups to integrate this logistics system with the customers’ internal processes.
“According to industry estimates, the Indian logistics market is pegged at USD 150 billion and last mile connectivity constitutes 25% of that. While most of this is unorganised, we have begun to witness technology-aided disruption in the market. At Porter our aim is to offer effective and efficient logistics solutions to our customers, and to add value to the operators who work with us,” said Uttam Digga, Co-founder and COO of Porter.
Gautam Mago, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors said, “Through the use of mobile technology for demand and supply aggregation, Porter is able to build a transparent marketplace, thus increasing vehicle utilization while providing a standardized service. Business transportation will be transformed by smartphones, just as consumer transportation has been. We look forward to working with the Porter team to grow their business nationally.”
Using tech to streamline large unorganized markets is looked as a huge opportunity by investors and the seemingly impossible industry of trucks is also under the radar now. Backed by Unitus Seed Fund, Blowhorn operates in Bangalore, theKarrier has raised INR 1.5 crores to do the same in Bangalore, Shippr has i2i on its side and is growing strong in Bangalore again, while ReturnTrucks is a Vizag based comapny with strong operations in Chennai. With this big ticket investment in Porter, one can expect more activity in the space.