The Indian trucking system has a big inefficiency problem that continues to drag the economy down. BlackBuck, one of the few logistics startups attempting to overhaul this system, has just achieved unicorn status after securing new funding.
Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEF led the $ 67 million Series E financing round in the six-year-old startup, valuing it at $ 1.02 billion (down from around $ 850 million during the 2019 D Series round), said Rajesh Yabaji, Managing Director of BlackBuck. TechCrunch in an interview earlier this week. BlackBuck is the 16th Indian startup to become a unicorn.
BlackBuck connects businesses with truck owners and freight operators. He has developed a simplified app for truck drivers in India, who are generally not very literate, to help them accept work and navigate easily to their destination using Google Maps. On the customer side, companies can launch a similar application to place orders.
Around 700,000 truckers and 1.2 million trucks in India are now connected to the platform, which records more than 15 million transactions each month. “Indian truckers didn’t really go digital until 2019. Since then, the sourcing business has grown 20-fold,” Yabaji said.
During this period, BlackBuck has also transformed considerably. The platform moved away from call centers for booking orders in favor of an application-based system. Today, Yabaji said the startup relies very little on brokers, who help them connect with truckers in smaller areas.
“India’s supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. BlackBuck’s ability to measure production and productivity growth has simplified the logistical challenges for the industry in a short period of time. Its continued high-speed growth promises to bring an even greater transformation to the Indian trucking ecosystem, ”said Arjun Sethi, co-founder and partner of Tribe Capital, in a statement. (By the way, Tribe Capital is in talks to support at least two more Indian startups, according to people familiar with the matter.)
This is a developing story. More soon…