Naspers arm Prosus Ventures leads $40 mn Series C in logistics platform ElasticRun
ElasticRun, the digital logistics platform operated by Pune-based startup NTex Transportation Services, has raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by Naspers-owned Prosus Ventures.
The round also saw the participation of Kalaari Capital and Avataar Ventures, the venture capital firm founded in September this year by former Norwest Venture Partners executive Mohan Kumar.
ElasticRun was part of a portfolio of six startups in which Norwest sold stakes via a block sale. Norwest’s stake was acquired by Avataar, which is backed by private equity fund-of-funds HarbourVest Partners.
Prosus Ventures is the venture capital arm of Euronext-listed Prosus, a consumer internet company that was spun out of South African media and technology conglomerate Naspers in March this year. Naspers continues to own more than 70% of Prosus.
Prosus owns a 31% stake in Shenzhen headquartered technology giant Tencent and has stakes in several Indian startups including ed-tech unicorn Byju’s and food-tech startup Swiggy. Overall, it has invested more than $4 billion in its Indian operations and partner companies in the past five years.
Following the latest capital infusion, ElasticRun plans to further develop new product lines, strengthen its platform in terms of scale and expand its network coverage to new geographies, it said in a statement.
The platform claims a presence in 200 cities through several small convenience stores. It plans to extend this network to a million stores in the near future.
Founded by Sandeep Deshmukh, Shitiz Bansal and Saurabh Nigam in 2016, ElasticRun aggregates idle fleet capacities. The platform has clients in the FMCG, food, manufacturing and ecommerce segments.
“ElasticRun enables small store owners to leverage quiet times of the day to gain increased revenue by handling local last mile deliveries,” the company said.
The logistics startup is working with consumer goods companies to offer an advanced distribution network to its existing stores in its network.
“ElasticRun is one of those rare businesses that identified a massive need in the market, matched it with a local solution paired with technology, for the benefit of all parties involved,” said Ashutosh Sharma, head of investments for India at Prosus Ventures.
In 2018, the company raised $8 million from Norwest Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.