Ecom Express said to clock 40% revenue growth again; can it maintain the pace?

Ecom Express said to clock 40% revenue growth again; can it maintain the pace?
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8 May, 2018

Ecommerce-focussed logistics company Ecom Express Pvt. Ltd recorded a 40% rise in revenue for the fiscal year through March, The Economic Times reported, citing CEO and co-founder TA Krishnan.

The report also cited the company as saying that it became "operationally profitable" in 2017-18 and that it will be "EBITDA positive" in 2018-19. It didn't elaborate. EBITDA refers to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

In an email response to TechCircle's queries, Krishnan said: “As a company policy, we do not comment on financials.”

According to VCCEdge, the data research arm of VCCircle, the New Delhi-based company had posted net revenue of Rs 483.8 crore in 2016-17, up 40% from the year before. Total revenue, including non-operating revenue, was Rs 493 crore. Another year of 40% growth would mean the company posted net revenue of around Rs 677 crore in 2017-18.

VCCEdge data show also that the company posted an EBITDA loss of Rs 55 crore for 2016-17, down from almost Rs 90 crore the year before. The loss on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) shrank to Rs 64.3 crore from Rs 95.2 crore while net loss narrowed to Rs 72.3 crore from Rs 96.7 crore. An operational profit could mean it wiped out its EBIT loss in 2017-18.

Separately, Ecom Express said in a press release it expanded its delivery network by 50% during 2017-18. Krishnan said in his statement to TechCircle that the company saw healthy growth and increased market share and that it focused on building infrastructure. He didn't elaborate.

Ecom Express was founded in 2012 by TA Krishnan, K Satyanarayana, Manju Dhawan and Sanjeev Saxena. The company provides end-to-end logistics services, catering mainly to the e-commerce sector. It picks up and delivers online orders from partner websites. It also provides business-to-business goods transport, cross-border logistics and reverse logistics services.

Ecom Express has 17,000 employees and operates in 2,400 Indian cities, covering more than 25,000 postal codes.

Backed by the likes of Warburg Pincus, Peepul Capital and Oliphans Capital, Ecom Express is among the most well-funded startups in the logistics sector.

In September 2017, Warburg Pincus had invested $30 million in Ecom. The PE firm had first injected $133 million into Ecom in 2015.

Other ecommerce-focussed logistics companies have also recorded strong revenue growth in previous years.

Tiger Global- and Carlyle-backed Delhivery Pvt. Ltd recorded a 50% rise in net revenue to Rs 743.7 crore for 2016-17 from Rs 495.7 crore the previous year.

Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates B2B logistics venture BlackBuck, had registered a seven-fold rise in gross revenue to Rs 566.83 crore in 2016-17.

Online freight aggregator Rivigo, which is also backed by Warburg Pincus, had posted a 170% rise in revenue to Rs 401.8 crore in 2016-17.