Indian Logistic Startups – Blazing a Trail

In the 2015 movie – The Intern , CEO of a e-commerce business -Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) ensures end to end perfection in delivery and quick mitigation of crisis when parcels have to be called back due to bedbug alert in warehouse, staying upto date trend fast catching up and showing the reality of how cut throat the demand for quality services have become. There is no scope for sluggishness or obsolescence as the options to choose from are mushrooming, leading to a competitive market. Gone are the days when our ‘Daakiya Daak Laya’ songs were sung ,waiting for a parcel to come. Filling the gaps are a bunch of Indian Logistic startups organizing and enabling this sector to meet the service expectations of the today’s super-efficient populace.

India’s domestic logistics is mainly dependent on roadways constituting 57% of goods transported by volume. Remaining is carried out in bulk by train, ship, or aircraft. Empowered with technology to reach around Mars in a maiden attempt, the bright youth of the country are not far behind to revolutionize the economy by taking charge of organizing Logistics.

In a follow up report on the logistic sector of India, Nexensus looks at some budding Indian startups and the difference they envision to make in this unorganised space:

The Logistic Bloomers in India

A surge in the number of Private Equity investments in logistics space can be observed as many logistic companies & StartUp’s compete to gain significant market share. As many as 20 logistic companies have been backed by large investors and funds in the last 8 months in  companies working on disruptive technologies to revolutionize this space.

Some logistics startup’s with new fortes backed by strong PE investors include the likes of –

Indian Logistics Startup

Start upsPrivate Investment made on DateFocus domain of the StartupInvestment made by Private Equity Players
Schedulers Logistics, Mumbai
Cold Storage Logistics solutions

WoWExpress, Mumbai
E-Commerce Logistics Solutions
Undisclosed Investors & Tamarind Family Private Trust-Private Equity
Shipsy, Gurgaon06/04/2016
Logistics Solutions
DTDC Express Ltd-Private Equity
TruckingCube, New delhi
Domestic, Commercial, and Industrial Goods Movers
Agarwal Movers Group-Private Equity
Holisol Logistics, New Delhi10/12/2015
Supply Chain & Logistics Solutions
CLSA Capital Partners ARIA IV Funds-Private Equity
Roadrunnr, Bangalore27/10/2015Hyperlocal Logistics Service
Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners- Private Equity-Series B

Parcelled, Bangalore26/10/2015
Online Logistics Platform
Delhivery-Private Equity
GoJavas, Gurgaon07/10/2015Delivery & Logistics Service providerSnapdeal -Private Equity-Strategic Funding (Series C)

LogiNext, Mumbai

End-to-end Logistics platform
Paytm-Private Equity-Series A

Pickingo, New Delhi


On-Demand Delivery Logistics
Orios Venture Partners, Zishaan Hayath-Private Equity-Series A

Connect India, New Delhi
ECommerce Logistics provider

Aavishkaar- Private Equity-Series A
Roadrunnr, Bangalore
Hyper local logistics platform
Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures- Private Equity-Series A
Zinka, Bangalore25/06/2015Freight logistics platformAccel Partners, Flipkart -Private Equity-Series A
The Porter, Mumbai

Logistics Tech- aggregator for mini trucks
Sequoia Capital, Kae Capital, Anupam Mittal, Sandeep Tandon

Ecom Express, New Delhi


Logistics Solution Provider
Warburg Pincus
Delhivery, Gurgaon06/05/2015
Ecommerce Logistics
Tiger Global Management, Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Nexus Venture Partners, Times Internet-Private Equity-Series D

Delhivery (SSN Logistics Pvt. Ltd), Sahil Barua, Mohit Tandon ,Suraj Saharan, Bhavesh Manglani, and Kapil Bharati were quick to diversify  from shipping domain to e-commerce, getting the best of both worlds and seizing the right opportunity at the right time.

Llama Logisol Pvt Ltd, owner of on-demand logistics service provider, Shipsy was founded by three Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) graduates Dhruv Agrawal , Soham Chokshi and Maharshi Devraj. Shipsy picks, packs and delivers parcels from the customer’s doorstep.

Porter was  again founded by IIT graduates Pranav Goel, Uttam Digga and Vikas Choudhary. The startup’s mobile app allows users to hire vehicles for relocation or to move perishables with real time live tracking and invoice, eCommerce and construction deliveries- services supplied by trained drivers. It is a step to upgrade unorganized trucking business in India to reduce inefficiencies.Porter recognized the space where trucks were making round trips without cargo taking longer time as well as wasting fuel in long distance .

Parcelled founders Puneet Chauhan and Xitij Kothi started the On-demand shipping service which picks and packs items from user’s doorstep and delivers them across the country. The users just have to schedule a suitable pickup time on the website / App  and mention the courier pick-up location. Once the request is confirmed, a pickup agent packs and pick ups the item for shipping. so users also get end to end tracking and delivery notifications of their parcels. It also facilitates vendors to  share warehouses, Technology platform, website development, digital marketing thus , all in all a 360 degree solution.

E-commerce logistics is comparatively doing better than many hyper-local delivery services like Pickingo due to complex customer market dynamics. The margins are not very high in deliveries for restaurant, food, pharmaceuticals as compared to e-commerce as the customers don’t necessarily wish to pay more for deliveries. It is interesting to note the difference between the e-commerce channels and sub segments like Parcel delivery at a Hyperlocal level.

Indian Logistic Startups

Of the total organized retail market, online retail outreach is bound to increase from 6 per cent in 2014 to 14 per cent by 2020, which is comparable to the current penetration of e-commerce in the U.S. Application Programme Interface (API) integration of e-commerce retailer’s system with the 3PLs (3rd party Logistics) system will improve speed and success of the supply chain to positively impact agro, fisheries, manufacturing and especially e-commerce retail businesses.

To develop real-time and an uninterrupted exchange of data and information, many startups have mushroomed building API’s for automation to fill the current gap. Some of the lesser known burgeoning and promising  start up’s in this space that have recently kick-started operations and secured seed funding include –

Start Up CompanyFunding StageInvestorsFocus AreaHeadquarter
ZebroadsMay 2016 - Seed FundingUnconfirmedWarehousing/Logistics ServicesHyderabad
GoboltJune 2016 - Seed FundingMCube8B2B LogisticsNew Delhi
PickrrNov 2015 - Seed FundingPalaash VenturesOn Demand Local Logistic ProviderNew Delhi
GrabNov 2015 - Seed FundingSixth SenseHyper-local Logistic Mumbai
BluebirchDec 2015 - Seed FundingChicago Capital Ventures, Sanjay MehtaLogistic Solutions & Platform for end-to end integrationBangalore
InstavansOct 2015 - Seed FundingSuresh VaswaniLogistic Services & Truck AggregatorBangalore
QuifersOct 2015 - Seed FundingSmile Group, Vikas Agarwal, Sanjeev Kakkar, Vishal KhareLogistic Platform and technology Mumbai

Foreign Startups in Logistics

Foreign Players provide technology based platform to segments like the shipping market, transportation system, freight forwarders, shipping containers, crowd shipping services, domestic- local and long distance shipping, storage outsourcing-Warehouse,inventory,  fleet management system, packaging and cold storage. Germany has been a leader in logistics solutions, why ? they realized the continuing trend towards comprehensive systems solutions from a single source like RFD. Germany is world’s largest exporter and may also be a leading destination for supply chain management and logistics courses for young students. For e.g Foreign Traditional players

Foreign and Indian logisitcs startups

Foreign Start upsFocus
CargomaticTracking Road transport(Trucks) through cloud-based mobile app will help run round trips with full capacity
ClearMetalPlans vessel space by modeling, predicting and simulating tools using Data Science and Machine Learning for Shipping carriers, freight forwarders
Cloud Fulfilment Storage outsourcing
DoormanLogistics service with mobile app /API that e-commerce companies can integrate with to let shoppers choose a delivery day and time during checkout thus schedule deliveries by appointment to prevent missed deliveries.
FreightosWeb-based freight forwarding with automated freight quotes and a contract management system for shippers.
FlexportOnline end-to-end freight forwarding solution
HavenTransparent Online freight forwarding solution by bid on guaranteed shipping container capacity
Keychain Logisticsonline marketplace that connects freight shippers directly with drivers and carrier fleets.
MatternetTransportation system made up of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), landing stations and routing software for lightweight goods.
MuniRentHeavy duty equipment sharing between public agencies
RoadieCommunity based on-the-way delivery network whose software utilizes unused capacity in passenger vehicles, connecting people who have items to send with drivers already heading in the right direction
SchlepOn-demand moving service
ShipwireEnterprise cloud based logistics platform
TransportecaWebsite that compares shipping and transportation prices from freight forwarders
UberCARGOReal-time tracking of local deliveries
XenetaEnables both importers, exporters and freight forwarders to benchmark their ocean freight rates for understanding the market and transparently negotiating prices.

TNT(Netherlands)  is a giant automotive logistics 3PL. It combines value-added warehousing and manufacturing support. Expansion of its services in Asia and standardized operating procedures, including IT put it on the front burner.

Caterpillar Logistics has a global reach, dealer network, Warehousing and manufacturing supply chain software which are integrated. Demand -supply forecasting and material planning is also based on proprietary probability models thus ensuring there is no replication of efforts but consolidating smart strategies to replace redundancy is the way forward.

Path Ahead

It is especially noteworthy that India is the second largest producer of vegetables and fruits after China, but due to lack of infrastructure and broken cold chain (shortage of more than 10 million tonnes of cold storage), more than 30% of agri-produce is lost in fields post harvesting. Similar inefficiencies exist in the manufacturing sector where ~20% of its revenue is spent on logistics, much higher than global average.

Indian Government can give a impetus to technology and adopt best practices globally especially from Germany in supply chain management and logistics solutions. The end to end components like infrastructure of all season quality roads, ports, railways combined with strategic placement of warehouses and storage facilities with value added services  such as cold storage, bar coding, sorting/packing, processing, heat treatment, ERP , RFID, AIDC (Automatic identification and data capture), Supply Chain Operations Reference Models can really change the picture dramatically. Foreign players have already adopted sustainable practices by leveraging technology.

In conclusion, there exists a dire need and many of these startups are already ahead of the curve in servicing a sector whose demands are likely to reach stratospheric heights .

Drop us a mail to find out more about deals in Indian logistic startups or unlisted companies growing steadily and quietly.

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