BlackBuck becomes the first logistics company to join the Unicorn Club this year

Bengaluru-based online trucking platform BlackBuck, this week, joined the much-coveted unicorn club after it announced raising $67 million as a part of its Series E funding round at a valuation of $1.02 billion. 

Led by US-based Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, and VEF, the fundraiser also witnessed the participation of its existing investors including Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation. 

Blackbuck which is backed by powerful players like B Capital, Flipkart, Sequoia Capital, and Tiger Global, is the sixteenth startup and the first logistics firm to turn a unicorn this year. 

The six-year-old startup plans on deepening its market penetration and launch new service offerings from the latest fundraise. 

Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder and chief executive of BlackBuck, said that the company is looking to foray into financial services and help its trucking partners with insurance and other working capital needs.

BlackBuck has a network of more than 700,000 truckers operating 1.2 million trucks across India. It now plans to double its penetration to 1.4 million truckers in two years, said Yabaji. 

Further, he added, with the pandemic fuelling demand for digitized supply chains, more than 90% of BlackBuck’s trucking loads are now utilized by small and medium enterprises compared to large enterprises earlier, he said.

BlackBucks’ platform clocks more than 15 million transactions every month and has a geographical coverage to 600 districts, which was achieved by the company’s direct partnership with truckers. It also provides pan-India coverage through 5000 channel partners.

“India’s supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. BlackBuck’s ability to measure output and productivity growth has streamlined logistical challenges for the industry over a short time frame,” said Arjun Sethi, co-founder, and partner at Tribe Capital.

The growing startup, last year also entered Europe and is running pilots for its trucking management solution. It has opened an office in Poland as it looks to disrupt the European logistics market.

“At the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, we are excited to partner with Blackbuck in its next phase of growth. We have been impressed with how Blackbuck has continued to leverage technology and its deep understanding of the long-haul freight market to offer solutions that address typical pain points for both the truckers and shippers,” said Saadia Khairi, fund head, IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

Blackbuck is also scouting for acquisitions in the logistics market to further deepen its engagement with the trucking community and offer newer digital solutions to customers and shippers. 

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