Indian trucking solutions startup Blackbuck has surpassed a valuation of $1 billion, making it the 16th Indian startup to achieve Unicorn status in 2021. The new valuation comes after its latest Series E rounds of funding.
Blackbuck -About The Company
Blackbuck was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Chanakya Hridaya, Rajesh Yabaji and Ramasubramaniam B. The startup is focused on digitizing the massive Indian supply chain, connecting shoppers to truckers. They have efficiently disrupted the supply chain on the ends of the client as well as truckers, with their reliable and seamless platform.
The startup has created an app for Indian truckers to accept work and navigate using Google Maps to deliver their cargo. Clients also have a similar app to place orders. The platform covers a comprehensive list of functionalities related to trucking and logistics, including matching a shipper with a trucker facilitating digitized payments, insurance, and financial services, and allowing clients to digitize the trucking process across the board.
Blackbuck aims to make the clunky and traditional supply chain of India adapt to the modern age. They plan to do this by using their platform to digitize trucking, streamlining road-reliant cargo deliveries in the country. They have a comprehensive approach to problems that impacts the entire sector and improves the supply chain, the client experience as well as the efficiency and satisfaction of the actual workers.
Leveraging Mobile Penetration
The digital transformation of the supply chain has been aided by the increasing popularity of smartphones in the Indian demographic, especially truck owners and drivers. Since the inception of the company, smartphone usage among truck owners has reached 100% from 40%, and it has risen to over 70% from 7% among truck drivers. Indian truckers often constitute the lower tiers of the social and economic hierarchy and are often less literate than most people who predominantly adopt smartphones. But the affordability of tech and the internet thanks to Android phones and platforms like Jio. The government pushing for digitization has also aided this process, allowing the company to achieve their goals of digitization.
Growth and Investments
Since the startup began in 2015, they have gone through a litany of changes to adapt to modern technology and make their platform more digitized. They started their app-based booking system, reducing their reliance on call centres. The company has also made efforts to decentralize its services to reach more inner regions as well as SMEs. This move to reduce the focus on large cities and clients has helped them permeate the market better and access small truckers and SMEs across the country. About 700,000 truckers and 1.2 million trucks in India today are connected to the platform, which sees more than 15 million transactions each month.
Blackbuck has had 9 rounds of funding so far, amassing a total of $364 million in investments. Their latest Series E round raised $67 million for funding, led by Lead Investors IFC Asset Management Company, Tribe Capital and VEF. They are also backed by Accel Partners, Tiger Global, B Capital, Flipkart, IFC, Light Street, Sands Capital, Sequoia Capital, Goldman Sachs and Wellington.
Blackbuck has become the frontrunner for digitizing the Indian supply chain and including all of the elements in the process. From SMEs to MNC clients as well as large and small truckers, they allow the links in the chain to operate seamlessly via digitization. They plan to expand their operations and take over more parts of the supply chain, disrupting and strengthening the network for a better future.