Exclusive: Logistics-tech startup LetsTransport closes Series B round
LetsTransport, a tech-enabled logistics marketplace for intra-city deliveries, has raised Rs 100 crore (around $13.5 million at current exchange rates) in a fresh funding round jointly led by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International and strategic investment firm Bertelsmann India Investments, a person familiar with the development told TechCircle.
“The Series B round is closed. The round was co-led by Fosun and Bertelsmann. Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital had also put in some money,” the above-mentioned person said on the condition of anonymity.
The Bengaluru-based company will use the fresh capital for product development, technological expansion and scaling up operations, the person added.
LetsTransport, Fosun and Bertelsmann subsequently issued a statement confirming the fundraise.
"We see ourselves expanding to over 20 cities by the end of the year and our new products will help us in disrupting the industry," said Pushkar Singh, chief executive and co-founder at LetsTransport.
VCCircle had reported earlier this year that LetsTransport was planning to raise $15 million in a fresh funding round from new and existing investors and had appointed Mumbai-based Merisis Advisors as the investment banker for the purpose.
Operated by Diptab Ventures Pvt. Ltd, LetsTransport’s existing investors include Rebright Partners, NB Ventures and GMO Venture Partners.
LetsTransport had in January last year 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 Rebright Partners.
The company was founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur graduates Pushkar Singh, Sudarshan Ravi and Ankit Parasher. It provides intra-city logistics solutions for requirements such as shifting houses and buying furniture. It currently caters to clients in four sectors — fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), e-commerce, retail and logistics.
LetsTransport offers its services to both individual users (business-to-consumer) and businesses (business-to-business).
The company claims to have operations in seven cities — Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Tiruchirapalli.
For the financial year 2016-17, the startup registered a six-fold rise in operational revenues at Rs 19.18 crore, up from Rs 3.17 crore in the previous year.
Deals in the space
The logistics sector has attracted considerable investor attention lately.
In October, Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates business-to-business tech-enabled logistics startup BlackBuck, raised Rs 202.96 crore ($27.4 million at current exchange rates) from new and existing investors.
In the same month, Pune-based Ntex Transportation Services Pvt. Ltd, which runs logistics startup ElasticRun, received close to Rs 60 crore ($8 million) in a fresh funding round.
Recent media reports have suggested that Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank is likely to put up to $250 million (Rs 1,842.36 crore) in e-commerce logistics firm Delhivery from its $100-billion Vision Fund.
A TechCircle analysis of the tech-enabled logistics space revealed that the space is now in a relatively stable phase after firms experimented with the business models and underwent course correction.
Fosun Group manages over $69 billion in assets with the majority of its investments in the real estate, infrastructure, pharma, banking and insurance sectors.
Fosun had backed another logistics startup, Gurugram-based Delhivery Pvt. Ltd, last year.
Its VC arm has a mandate to invest in technology companies in India, China and the US. The firm is focused on investing in companies in sectors such as financial technology, consumer technology, health technology, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and automation.
Bertelsmann India Investments is the strategic investment arm of one of the world's largest mass media companies, Germany-headquartered Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA.
It recently invested in the Series D round of existing portfolio company Licious, an online meat and fish ordering platform.
Bertelsmann also recently topped up its investment in Roposo, a social platform for sharing photos and videos.
Update: The article has been updated to include a statement from LetsTransport.