Exclusive: New and existing investors to back logistics startup LetsTransport
Bengaluru-based Diptab Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which operates tech-enabled logistics marketplace for intra-city deliveries LetsTransport, is raising a fresh funding round from new and existing investors, two persons directly in the know of the development told VCCircle.
The total deal size of the new round is expected to be nearly $15 million and will be raised in multiple tranches. The three-year-old startup has appointed Mumbai-based Merisis Advisors as the investment banker for this fundraise, one of the persons mentioned above said.
The second person mentioned above said that the startup has already received the first tranche of $2 million from new investors that include Japan-based Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital Co. Ltd, CBC Co. Ltd, and Flex Inc. Singapore-based KC Investments also participated in the round. However, it is not clear whether there are more new investors coming on board and who among the existing investors are participating in this round.
As per VCCircle estimates, this fundraise will likely value the company at approximately $156 million (Rs 1,000 crore) post-money, indicating a more than ten-fold jump in its post-money valuation from its last funding round.
E-mail queries sent to co-founders Sudarshan Ravi and Pushkar Singh, and Merisis Advisors did not elicit a response till the time of filing this report.
In January 2017, the company raised $4 million (around Rs 27.2 crore) in its second round of funding from GMO Venture Partners, Neelesh Bhatnagar of NB Ventures and existing investor Japanese venture capital firm Rebright Partners.
In August 2015, it had raised $1.3 million in a round led by Rebright Partners.
LetsTransport was founded in 2015 by IIT Kharagpur graduates Singh, Ravi and Ankit Parasher. It provides intra-city logistics solutions for everyday errands like shifting houses, buying furniture, electronics, etc. Customers can book a truck using the company’s online platform.
It charges a base fare for the first few kilometres (3-5 km depending upon the city) and then charges for every kilometer thereafter. There are no waiting charges for the first 60 minutes, after which the company charges Rs 2-3 for every minute. The base fare and subsequent cost vary across cities.
Consumers can book a truck using the company’s desktop site, mobile app and through the phone. LetsTransport offers its services to both individual users (business-to-consumer) and businesses (business-to-business). As per information available on the company’s website, it currently operates in New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu).
In its last funding round in January 2017, the company stated that it operated in seven cities—Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Tiruchirapalli. It could not be ascertained whether LetsTransport has actually scaled down its operations since then.
At that time, Singh said that the company planned to expand to 11 cities, including Tier 1 and 2 cities, by the end of 2017. In June 2015, LetsTransport acquired Shifter, a similar venture which connects mini-truck owners, for an undisclosed amount.
For the financial year 2016-17, the startup registered a six-fold rise in operational revenue at Rs 19.18 crore, up from Rs 3.17 crore in the previous year. However, gross expenditure also rose more than four-fold to Rs 26.70 crore, up from Rs 6.37 crore in the previous year, mainly on the back of employee benefit expenses and contract drivers cost.
Consequently, losses also widened to Rs 7.41 crore, up from Rs 3.14 crore in the previous financial year.
The logistics sector in India has seen a few significant investment deals barely a month into the new year.
On Tuesday, Delhi-based RoboticWares Pvt. Ltd, which runs logistics management startup FarEye, raised Rs 61.53 crore($9.56 million) from Singapore-based 23i Pvt. Ltd, an entity that appears to be linked to Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Late last month, logistics firm Xpressbees raised Rs 225 crore(around $35 million) from Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Earlier in January, Gurgaon-based tech-enabled logistics services provider Rivigo Services Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 322.5 crore ($50 million) in a Series D round from its existing investors SAIF Partners and Warburg Pincus. The round saw its valuation soar to near-Unicorn levels.