IFC plans to invest US$ 10 mn in Zinka Logistics

Source : Business Standard 27-Jan-2017

Chennai: International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to invest around $10 million as equity in Bengaluru-based Zinka Logistics Pvt Ltd (Blackbuck), a technology platform for long-haul trucking. The company’s existing investors include Accel Partners, Tiger Global, Apoletto and Flipkart Logistics.

IFC’s proposed investment will be in the form of equity for a minority stake to support the expansion of the company’s service offerings and further technology development. The company will use IFC’s funding to expand it’s service offerings and further technology development, said IFC.

The company was founded by Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Bala Ramasubramania in April 2015 and launched in July 2016. Blackbuck is a leading technology platform in India for long-haul trucking.Blackbuck connects large and small shippers with small truck owner/operators to book full-truck-load (FTL) freight for inter-city transportation through its mobile app interface.

IFC said Blackbuck is helping to bring transparency and efficiency to this market through its technology platform.

This allows transporters, truck owners, and enterprise clients to more efficiently locate, price, transport freight and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Company is asset-light and by matching truckers with shippers through its online platform, it is able to minimise downtime for trucks and maximise utility of the asset for the truck owners/operators.

It is the leading load board in India with around 80,000 verified trucks on its platform and more than 100,000 transactions year-to-date (YTD). The company does not provide services for transportation of hazardous or dangerous goods.

The company has two different models including organised contracted freight – formal contracts with shippers (a number of big companies including multi-national companies) to move freight for predetermined routes at pre-negotiated price; auctions of freight just-in-time through the app marketplace and unorganised spot market freight where shippers use app to source truckers for immediate needs.

The company is also providing support in using ancillary services (like toll cards and fuel cards) to drivers with some partners like non-banking finance company and petroleum retailers so that truck drivers do not need to carry a lot of cash.

The long-haul, full-truck-load (FTL) trucking market in India is currently estimated to be around $70 billion and is largely offline and informal. Trucks in India on average have 33% utilisation, meaning they are either sitting/travelling empty or partially filled a majority of the time.

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