Mumbai-based technology-driven transportation firm Truckola Technologies Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 4 crore (around $595,000) in angel funding led by Abhishek Agarwal of Fortune Interfinance Ltd (FIFL) on LetsVenture, an online platform that connects startups with investors to facilitate angel and seed investments, the company said in a statement.
Other investors who participated n the round include the Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah via his company Al Hamra Group; Krishnakumar Natarajan, co-founder and executive chairman of Mindtree Ltd; Sarath Sura, chairman of GreyCampus and co-founder of Sierra Atlantic; Shanti Mohan, founder of LetsVenture; Sarthak and Nihit Agarwal of Shubhalakshmi Polyesters and Suramya Gupta, fund manager at a Japanese VC firm.
The funds will be used for scaling up the technology and for strengthening the service delivery capability of the company, it said.
"Transportation in India is expected to be a $300 billion industry by 2020. It has traditionally been a profitable but inefficient and unscalable business due to lack of technology adoption in the sector. We are using technology to optimise the transport eco system and make the business model operationally scalable. We do this by creating visibility in the value chain for better supply-demand alignment, and by reducing vehicles' idling time," said Raghav Himatsingka, co-founder of Truckola.
Truckola provides a tech-enabled cargo transportation service on long distance inter-state routes. It counts small- and medium-sized businesses as its clients and has to date signed up 60 such clients, Raghav Himatsingka, Truckola's co-founder told Techcircle.in. It has partnered with truck fleet owners who transport cargo across five states. The firm follows an asset-light model, providing end-to-end solutions right from sourcing cargo to transporting it to its destination.
Truckola began operations in September 2015 and was founded by Stanford alumnus Raghav Himatsingka, Duke University alumnus Keshav Himatsingka and IIT Delhi alumnus Vipul Garg. Prior to founding Truckla, Raghav Himatsingka was director of Ideal Movers that operates cargo transportation fleets. He has built and managed large teams across multiple geographies. Keshav Himatsingka, an alumnus of Duke University, previously founded and ran a chain of three restaurants. Garg was formerly a software developer at realty portal Housing.com.
LetsVenture connects startups with investors to facilitate angel and seed investments. Founded by Shanti Mohan and Sanjay Jha in 2013, the firm claims that 81 companies have raised funds worth $33 million on its platform.
The truck logistics marketplace has seen considerable investor interest in recent months. Last month, Delhi-based Dipper Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding. Dipper serves the inter-city full truckload market and operates on the national highway from Delhi to Kolkata.
In the same month, logistics tech startup GoBolt raised pre-Series A funding from startup incubator MCube8, a division of financial advisory firm MCube Capital. GoBolt operates as an aggregator and also has its own fleet of trucks. It has more than 600 trucks on its platform and provides its services across more than 35 cities.
In May, logistics management platform Locus, raised $2.75 million in a Series A funding round led by Exfinity Venture Partners.
In April, courier company DTDC Express invested over $1 million in logistics solutions startup Shipsy.
In February, Pune-based e-commerce logistics firm Xpressbees raised about $12.5 million in funding from existing investors SAIF Partners, IDG Ventures India, NEA, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital.
In October last year, Bangalore-based hyperlocal delivery startup Opinio raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by e-commerce logistics firm Delhivery.
Of late, the logistics space has also seen a number of acquisitions.
Truck aggregator Moovo.in recently acquired Patna-based GoGoods Pvt. Ltd, a similar venture which aggregates trucks for intra-city transport in Patna and Ranchi, in an all-stock deal.
In May, another player in the inter-city, full truck-load space Tiger Global-backed startup BlackBuck, run by Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, said it is looking out for acquisitions to strengthen its technology infrastructure.
In February, Mumbai-based Craftsvilla acquired on-demand logistics enabler Sendd for $5 million, in a bid to strengthen its logistics capabilities.
Last year, Bangalore-based tech startup Diptab Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which runs a marketplace connecting users to last-mile logistics service providers for intra-city deliveries LetsTransport.in, acquired Shifter, a similar venture which connects mini-truck owners, for an undisclosed amount.
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