In an indication of the trend of growing interest in Indian logistics companies, Carlyle Group and Tiger Global have put nearly $100 million (Rs 655 crore) in Delhivery. The investment has created a record of sorts; becoming the largest investment for any Indian logistics company.
Co-founder and CEO Sahil Barua is proud of the level of technological expertise the company boasts of,
“Having spent time with supply chain firms across the world we believe our infrastructure is as good and in some cases, even better than anything we have seen globally. In addition, our technology and data science capabilities enable us to continuously become more reliable and effective.”
And proud he should be, for it is exactly this tech-forward nature of the company that has attracted Carlyle Group. Neeraj Bhardwaj, Carlyle Asia’s MD says,
“We see significant potential for technology-enabled logistics in the country with the growth of e-commerce as well as increasing customer focus on on-time delivery and service levels.”
The Delhivery story
It was founded in 2011 by Bhavesh Manglani, Mohit Tandon, Suraj Saharan, Kapil Bharati and Barua as a last mile delivery service in Guragon. It got a Series A funding from Times Internet Ltd. in 2012 ($1.5 million). It got a Series B funding from Times and Nexus in 2013 ($ 6 million). In 2014, it got funding in a Series C from Multiples Alternate Asset Management and Nexus and Times ($35 million). In 2015, it got a Series D round of funding from Tiger Global and the presence of its other investors ($ 85 million).
Delhivery had set high targets way back in 2014, when it said that it wanted to raise $ 150 million. So far, it has notched up investments worth $ 127.5 million. (However, close rival Ecom Express takes the cake with approximately $ 149.61 million.) It has had its share of tough times, with its losses going up by nearly four times in the year 2015-16. At the same time, it was also maintaining that it would be making profits soon.
Barua reinforces this belief,
“Our margins have been going up continuously for the last 24 months. We went through a few months which were tough for us in 2015 but that didn’t fundamentally change anything about the business last year.”
How have others fared this year?
Other logistics companies that have raised significant capital in 2017 include:
- Bangalore-based Blowhorn, which has raised $36,50,000 in private equity,
- Bangalore-based Blackbuck raised $ 700,00,000 in private equity, and
- Gurgaon-based Rivigo raised $ 36,50,000 in private equity.
The fresh infusion will be directed to the company’s infrastructure and technology departments. Does this mean good news for ecommerce logistics?