Online trucking platform BlackBuck has entered the unicorn club in India by raising a $67 million round of equity financing led by IFC Emerging Asia FundTribe Capital and VEF, bringing its valuation to $1 billion. Also participating in the round were current investors including Wellington Management, Sands Capital and International Finance Corporation.
The Bengaluru-based company was founded in 2015. It is India’s largest trucking network with over 700,000 truckers and more than 1.2 million trucks. Clients include SMEs as well as massive corporates like Coca Cola, Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance, Tata, Larsen & Toubro and Jindal.
BlackBuck’s roster of customers numbers well over 10,000 currently. It racks in over 15 million transactions each month and claims over 90% of the online trucking market share in India. The company has an Android app for truckers and a separate one for clients. The latter allows shippers to locate the available trucks across the country, post their requirement and receive bids from truck drivers who have signed up to the network.
Machine learning algorithms connect customers with the most suitable fleet operator depending on the pickup address, destination, material to be shipped and other key details. BlackBuck’s entry into the relatively unorganized trucking industry as a sort of “Uber for trucking services” came at the right time when India’s supply chain and logistics arena started embracing the digital revolution.
So what is BlackBuck planning to do with its newly raised capital? The company is intent on investing heavily in product and data science capabilities. Of course, making freight-matching even more efficient and gaining more customers is always on the to-do list. It will also work on more service offerings for its large user base.