BlackBuck, an online logistics startup based in Bengaluru, is in talks to raise USD 150 to 250 million from investors including Naspers and Softbank, Mint reported, citing two persons familiar with the matter.
The online freight aggregator is aiming for a USD 1 billion valuation in the funding round to enter the unicorn club. BlackBuck has chosen JP Morgan as the investment banker for the round.
The fundraiser will help BlackBuck to take on its biggest rival – Gurgaon-headquartered Rivigo – in the trucking market. The latter hit close to a unicorn valuation (around USD 945 million ) in February 2019 after securing USD 35.6 million in a fresh round of funding.
BlackBuck, on the other hand, has so far raised more than USD 100 million, including a Rs 202 crore (USD 29 million) fresh round of funding from Sequoia Capital and existing investors including Tiger Global, Accel and Sands Capital.
Besides the funding discussions with Naspers and SofBank, the Bengaluru-based startup has also approached strategic investors for funds, according to the same sources. However, the sessions did not progress further.
Started by former ITC Ltd executives Rajesh Yabaji and Chanakya Hridaya, along with Ramasubramaniam B, BlackBuck offers a marketplace to connect truck owners and freight operators and facilitate inter-city goods transportation businesses.
Established in the first half of 2015, the company has witnessed a seven-fold jump in revenue (USD 81.6 million) in FY 2017 and reached operational profitability the same year. The company’s losses also increased from Rs 16.5 crore (USD 2.4 million) in FY 2016 to Rs 86 crore (USD 12.4 million) in FY 2017.
Earlier this year Hong-Kong based Lalamove also launched its operations in India, beginning with Mumbai and New Delhi. Similar to BlackBuck, Lalamove also is a marketplace of truckers, but it's an on-demand logistics provider. Unlike BlackBuck, Lalamove partners with small size truckers that travel within the city.