Truckola, a technology-focused cargo transport company, has raised Rs 4 crore in the angel round led by Abhishek Agarwal of Fortune Interfinance (FIFL).
Investors like Krishnakumar Natarajan, Executive Chairman of Mindtree; Al Hamra Group; Krishnakumar Natarajan, co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Mindtree, Sarath Sura, Chairman of GreyCampus; Shanti Mohan, Founder of LetsVenture; Sarthak and Nihit Agarwal of Shubhalakshmi Polyesters; and Suramya Gupta, fund manager at a Japanese VC Firm amongst others also participated in the angel round.
The Mumbai-based logistics firm was founded in 2015 by Raghav Himatsingka and Keshav Himatsingka. Raghav is an alumni of Stanford University while Keshav Himatsingka is a graduate from Duke University. Vipul Garg, the third co-founder is a Computer Science and Chemical Engineer from IIT-Delhi.
The raised funds will be used to enhance technology and will also be used for improvising the service delivery capability.
The founders in a joint statement, said, “Without commenting on anybody else’s strategies, we like to differentiate from our competition on 3 distinct fronts (a) stronger value proposition for all players in the value chain, (b) superior execution to deliver on our value proposition, and (c) clearly defined vision and roadmap to achieve our goals for the future.”
Truckola believes that the transport sector, which is expected to be a $300 billion industry by 2020, is highly unorganised, especially because of the lack of structured data, which ultimately leads to lot of disorder in the demand-and-supply chain across the country. The firm aims to solve this problem with data and predictive tools, thus lowering the cost and making better utilisation of the available vehicles.
"We have already seen tech disruption in transportation in the US and in Europe that have created billiondollar exits for companies. Given the size of the problem, it is inevitable that such a disruption/consolidation will happen in India as well, and our goal is to affect that disruption from the front in the quickest manner possible,” said, Raghav Himatsingka.
The company claims that Truckola's solution is technology-driven and ensures that it is asset-light which makes it highly scalable.
Trucking – an investor magnet
The major funded startups in this segment include Porter, a Sequoia Capital backed intra-city aggregator for mini trucks, which deals with the transport of goods within the city. So far, the firm has raised two funding rounds amounting to $6,500,000.
Tech-enabled hyperlocal logistics startup Opinio helps small businesses and is backed by investors including Accel Partners, and Sands Capital. The startup has raised $8,300,000 so far.
Gurgaon-based Shadowfax operates in the Delhi-NCR region, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bengaluru, and has raised around Rs 62 crore altogether.
Inter-city transportation startup Rivigo raised $30 million from Saif partners in 2015.
All the major logistic players mainly deal with transportation of food, grocery and other light assets, and so Truckola has no direct competitor currently. But the company faces competition from traditional companies, as they are still dominant players in this sector. The roadblocks in this segment are quite evident as it is an untapped market with huge potential.
Although a number of players have forayed into the e-commerce logistics segment, the transport-cargo market does not have many takers, with no entry of major players having a tech backbone.
According to market researcher Novonous' report Logistics Market in India 2015-2020, the country’s logistics industry is valued at $300 billion. The report further predicts that this number will grow at a CAGR of 12.17 percent by 2020.