BlackBuck raises Series C funding of $70M led by Sands Capital


BlackBuck, the B2B intercity logistics startup, has raised Series C funding of $70 million in a round led by Sands Capital. Among existing investors, Accel and Flipkart participated in this round, while Tiger Global and Apoletto did not.

This is the third round of funding for the Bengaluru-based logistics startup. BlackBuck had earlier, in 2015, raised a Series A round of $5 million from Accel Partners and Flipkart, followed by a $25 million Series B round from Tiger Global and Apoletto that year. With this funding round, the total funds raised by BlackBuck is approximately $100 million.

From starting with 10,000 trucks in December 2015, BlackBuck claims to serve a wide range of customers, from those who order close to 20,000 trucks a day to small businesses that order possibly three trucks a month. The team claims to have had, in 2016, a month-on-month revenue growth of between 40 and 80 percent.

BlackBuck currently has over 100,000 trucks on its platform, is present across 300 locations in the country, and boasts of an illustrious clientele, including names like Asian Paints, Unilever, Coke, Britannia, Godrej, Marico, Jyothy Laboratories, and EID Parry.

Founders (L-R) - Chanakya, Rajesh, and Subbu

Rajesh Yabaji, Co-founder and CEO, BlackBuck, adds that over the past few years, their core team’s combined understanding of the freight dynamics has helped create a strong tech layer in an otherwise unorganised sector. He says that this round will help them invest much more aggressively in products and technology.

Binny Bansal, Group CEO and Co-founder, Flipkart, adds that BlackBuck has made strong, solid headway towards making India's highly unorganised trucking industry more efficient through technology.

He believes that their tech innovations have helped several industries, from manufacturing to FMCG to e-commerce, realise seamless road transportation of goods. “So the latest investment builds on that progress and ties in with Flipkart's strategy of developing the startup ecosystem in supply chain and logistics even further,” adds Binny.

BlackBuck is able to deliver a strong value proposition for both customers and truckers by deploying the marketplace model and a differentiated technology platform, believes Anand Daniel, Partner, Accel, who is also on the board of BlackBuck. He also believes that there is a tremendous opportunity in the intercity segment for a tech player to disrupt the market.

According to the report ‘Logistics Market in India 2015-2020’ by market researcher Novonous, the entire logistics industry in India is pegged at $300 billion, growing at a CAGR of 12.17 percent by 2020.

The B2B logistics market is being eyed by giants like Mahindra and Mahindra, who launched SmartShift, a bidding app for transporters to connect directly to businesses. Another big logistics player in the space that can be considered direct competition for BlackBuck is Rivigo.

The team believes that the B2B logistics problem is a global problem. Rajesh adds that once they penetrate deeper into the Indian market and set a benchmark, they will look at global markets.

In the short term, the team aims at targeting a 1 percent market share of the trucking industry, with all 50,000 trucks running every day generating a revenue of close to $2 billion in the next few years.