Intra-city logistics startup Blowhorn recently closed its series A round of funding, raising $3.65 million (Rs 25 crore) from IDG Ventures India, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and existing investors Draper Associates and UnitusSeed Fund. These funds will be utilised in scaling their business geographically.
Founded in 2014 in Bengaluru, Blowhorn is trying to organise the fragmented B2C logistics space through their app and website. Their tech-enabled platform connects customers to mini-truck owners, enabling intra-city, sub two-ton deliveries in a hassle-free, reliable, and transparent manner. The company’s superior technology improves drivers’ capacity utilisation by connecting them to customers through their website and mobile app, enables real-time/spot management, and reduces fuel costs and time significantly, leading to high customer satisfaction and successfully doubling drivers’ incomes. Blowhorn also has a unique comprehensive driver-training programme, wherein all drivers are trained in customer service.
The co-founders, Mithun Srivatsa and Nikhil Shivaprasad, have collectively clocked two decades in logistics and technology, and have managed to aggregate over 1.8 million mini-trucks in urban centres alone.
For Tim Draper’s new fund Draper Associates, Blowhorn is the first Series A bet in India. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, on the other hand, has invested more than Rs 1,079 crore in non-profits and social enterprises in the country.
Commenting on the company’s fund raise and growth, Mithun Srivatsa, Co-Founder and CEO of Blowhorn, said, “We will now focus on leading the segment across all performance metrics, and are fortunate to have investors who share our vision.”
Blowhorn has scaled to a 50-member team. Some of the strategic campaigns they launched to establish their arrival in the market are the one-hour delivery of mobile phones in partnership with OnePlus and #UberIceCream deliveries with Uber. Currently, they handle intra-city consignments in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad. With the newly acquired capital, they will be expanding operations to four other cities in the next 24 months, namely Kolkata, NCR, Kanpur, and Indore, while aggregating over 25,000 daily active drivers.
“There have been many attempts at solving India’s intra-city logistics challenge, and Blowhorn’s extensive use of technology and business-level innovation has helped build a strong, rapidly-growing business with industry leading margins in a highly capital efficient manner. Blowhorn has the potential to be a dominant solutions provider of last mile logistics for SMEs and rapidly growing businesses,” said Karthik Prabhakar, Director, IDG Ventures India Advisors.
Commenting on their participating in this financing round, Rahil Rangwala, Director, Family Economic Stability at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “One of India’s major challenges is to provide market-relevant skills and meaningful jobs to its large, young and growing workforce. Our investment in Blowhorn gives us an opportunity to improve the income of intra-city truck drivers, who are mostly youth. We are excited to support Blowhorn’s effort in making informal sector jobs more attractive for India’s underprivileged youth, which also fulfils the goals of the government’s Skill India initiative.”