Xpressbees increases spending in FY19 to fuel growth; Alibaba plugs $10 mn

Xpressbees increases spending in FY19 to fuel growth; Alibaba plugs $10 mn
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Pune-based Busybees Logistics Solutions, which owns logistics platform Xpressbees, has more than doubled its spending for the financial year ended March 31 to achieve topline growth. Although the company managed to generate favourable results, its losses for the year widened because of the cash burn.

In FY19, the company’s total expenditure increased 102% to Rs 673 crore mainly on account of transportation costs, which also doubled to Rs 525 crore. Rental costs also jumped to Rs 30 crore from Rs 16 crore in the previous year, while miscellaneous expenses too rose to Rs 12 crore from Rs 4 crore in FY18.

Xpressbees spending on employees rose to Rs 68 crore in FY19 from Rs 42 crore in the previous year as its salary costs increased 1.6 times to Rs 61 crore on higher recruitment.

The higher spending resulted in doubling of revenues for the company, which stood at Rs 541 crores in FY19, regulatory filings show. Despite the increase in the topline, Xpressbees widened its losses to Rs 120 crores from Rs 57 crores.

“Although there was a considerable increase in the turnover of the Company, the Company has incurred losses on account of increase in the costs on expansion, creating infrastructure and capacity and other overheads,” the company said in a filing.

Funding

Xpressbees in December has raised $9.9 million in a Series D round from Chinese internet giant and Paytm-backer Alibaba, separate finings show. The company initiated the process to raise the funds from Alibaba, through its subsidiary Alibaba.com Singapore E-commerce.

The latest round was a continuation of an ongoing Series D round of 2018, through which the company raised $35 million from Alibaba.

With the latest round, Xpressbees has so far raised $59 million, as per data available by VCCEdge.

SAIF Partners, IDG Ventures India, Chiratae Ventures, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital are some of the other investors. It raised $12.5 million from them in a Series B round and nearly $8 million in a Series C round in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

In FY19, the company also raised around $4 million (Rs 28 crore) in term loan from Innoven Capital India. It will repay the loans by September 2022.

Xpressbees, a former subsidiary of baby product retailer FirstCry was, was spun-off into a full blown logistics firm in 2015. It provides logistics services to over 30 businesses. Its clientele mainly includes ecommerce companies such as Snapdeal, Paytm, Flipkart, Reliance, Clubfactory and Firstcry.

The company competes with players such as Delhivery and Ecom Express. Last month, Ecom Express raised $36 million through a equity share issue to CDC Group, the development finance arm of the UK government.

In October, Gurugram-based Delhivery had reported widening for losses to Rs 1,781 crore for FY19 from Rs 685 crore, with revenue rising 58% to Rs 1,695 crore.

Logistics startups have gained traction in India. In December, trucking Rivigo raised $20 million in a growth round from returning investors private SAIF Partners and Warburg Pincus, while BlackBuck raised $7.8 million in Series D round from Trifecta Ventures via a combination of equity and debt. 

In May, Locus, a logistics platform owned by Mara labs, raised $26 million from 17 investors in a fresh funding round led by Tiger Global and Falcon Edge.

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