Source: BloombergQuint

Deal Street: This Logistics Startup Is $50 Million Short Of Becoming A Unicorn

Five Indian startups raised nearly Rs 1,000 crore in early stage and venture capital funding last week across sectors such as logistics, grocery, and wellness, among others. Logistics startup led the funding pack.

Here’s what went on...

Blackbuck Raises $150 Million From Goldman Sachs, Accel



Trucks sit parked at the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), part of the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), in Haldia, West Bengal, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)
Trucks sit parked at the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), part of the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), in Haldia, West Bengal, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

BlackBuck, an inter-city trucking and supply chain startup, raised $150 million (about Rs 1,040 crore) in a fresh round of funding led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and venture capital firm Accel.

This takes the total fundraise to more than $230 million, the company said in a statement.

B Capital, Wellington, Sequoia Capital, Lightstreet and other existing investors such as International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital also participated in the fundraising, it said.

The fundraising values BlackBuck at $950 million, just $50 million short of entering the unicorn club, one person aware of the development told BloombergQuint.

The Bengaluru-based company aims to use the funds to expand its presence by on-boarding new trucking partners and transportation corridors. Founded in 2015, the firm provides wholesale logistics solutions for long-haul trucking.

“Long-haul road transportation is a $150-billion industry for India,” Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder of BlackBuck, said. “With this round of financing, we will invest to deepen our presence across the national market.” A part of investment will also go toward product and data sciences capabilities, he said.

BlackBuck competes with the likes of Rivigo, Ecom Express and SoftBank-funded Delhivery, which entered India’s unicorn club after raising $395 million in March.

Sachin Bansal’s Investment Arm Backs Milkbasket



Customers browse groceries at a Big Bazaar hypermarket, operated by Future Retail Ltd., in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
Customers browse groceries at a Big Bazaar hypermarket, operated by Future Retail Ltd., in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Milkbasket, a Gurugram-based micro-delivery grocery startup, raised $2.8 million (Rs 20 crore) from BAC Acquisitions, the investment vehicle of Flipkart Co-Founder Sachin Bansal.

The company will use the funds to meet its capital expenditure requirements and to drive research and development, it said in a statement.

“Milkbasket is now working on the next set of innovations to further consolidate its market leader position across its fresh fruit and vegetable offering, automating the daily delivery supply chain and reducing go-to-market time for multi-city expansion,” Anant Goel, co-founder of Milkbasket, said.

Founded in 2015, Milkbasket operates in Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Bengaluru. It now aims to become the default mom-and-pop shop for more than a million households by 2021.

Jennifer Lopez, Malaika Arora Invest In This Wellness Startup

Alex Rodriguez & Jennifer Lopez are engaged.
Alex Rodriguez & Jennifer Lopez are engaged.

Yoga and wellness startup Sarva raised its first external funding from a clutch of investors, including actor Jennifer Lopez and her fiance Alex Rodriquez.

Actor Malaika Arora, Bill Roedy, former chief executive and chairman of MTV Networks, Mark Mastrov, founder of fitness firm 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc., and David Giampaolo, chairman and CEO of investor network Pi Capital, and U.S.-based branded fitness company Zumba Fitness LLC also participated in the fundraising, Sarva said in a statement.

Founded in 2016, Sarva has about 91 yoga and wellness studios in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. The company aims to launch its digital offerings in mindfulness music, guided meditation, and interactive fitness space by the end of this year.

The firm expects to open 500 brick and mortar studios in 15 cities and build a global community of over 100 million customers on its digital platform by 2022.

Others

Digital lending startup Happy has secured $20 million (Rs 139 crore) in a mix of equity and debt. The debt came from non-bank lender DMI Finance, it said in a statement said. It had raised nearly $3 million in equity from strategic investor in U.S. and India, the company said without naming the investor.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle invested an undisclosed amount in Gurugram-based fintech startup Chqbook that allows customers to explore, compare and buy personal finance products such as personal loan, home loans and credit cards, the company said in a statement.