Online trucking platform BlackBuck raises $67 million from Tribe Capital, VEF & Others

Online trucking platform BlackBuck announced a $67 million funding round led by Silicon Valley-based venture fund Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, and VEF.

Following the funding, the Bengaluru-based startup is now valued at more than $1 billion, making it the 16th Indian unicorn to join the prestigious unicorn club this year. These are privately held businesses with a market capitalization of $1 billion or more. According to ET, domestic startups have raised record capital in the last six months, setting a new record.

Existing Blackbuck investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and the World Bank's investment arm, IFC, have also participated in the round. When it last raised funds in 2019, the company was valued at around $850 million.

The funds will be used to expand and launch new service offerings for the company's customer base. Blackbuck cofounder and CEO Rajesh Yabaji told ET that the new capital will be used to invest heavily in product and data science capabilities to improve freight matching efficiency for the Indian trucking ecosystem.
In the future, the startup plans to expand its financial services and insurance offerings through partnerships.

In addition to BlackBuck, other startups that have become unicorns this year include Urban Company, Zeta, Meesho, Groww, BrowserStack, Cred, and PharmEasy.

“Except for ecommerce, no other sector did well in the logistics space. Truck owners did not have enough jobs for multiple months. So, even for us it was important to work through this pandemic and give better offerings. This round is a validation of our story,” Yabaji said.

According to Yabaji, the company's demand has shifted, with the majority of it now coming from small businesses, brokers, and large-scale outfits rather than major enterprises.

“Over the last two years, digital adoption has grown wider… We have seen a 20X growth in supply side while there has been a 10X growth in demand over the last two years,” he said.

"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, cofounder and partner at Tribe Capital.

Last year, the fund made its first investment in India, backing logistics aggregator Shiprocket. Former executives from Chamath Palihapitiya's Social Capital founded the Silicon Valley-based investment firm.

BlackBuck, which was founded in 2015, digitises fleet operations for truckers and operates a marketplace to help match trucks with relevant loads. On its platform, there are nearly 700,000 truckers and over 1.2 million trucks, with over 15 million monthly transactions.

Since its inception, it has raised nearly $300 million in equity and debt funding. Other investors include Accel, Apoletto Asia, B Capital, Flipkart, and Goldman Sachs.