After investing in two hottest verticals – payments (Paytm) and grocery (BigBasket), Alibaba is now moving towards the backbone of Indian commerce – the logistics in the year 2018. As per reports, Alibaba is taking final steps to invest up to $100 Mn in XpressBees, a Pune-based logistics firm.
“The deal is likely to close in the next two-three weeks,” as stated by an ETtech source.
Earlier, in June 2016, Inc42 reported that Alibaba is looking to invest in Delhivery and XpressBees. The idea was to first establish the Paytm’s spun off ecommerce entity Paytm Mall and then build an Amazon-like logistics network to complete its ‘iron triangle’ in the country.
Founded in 2015 by Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari, XpressBees is an ecommerce logistics company, spun out of baby products retailer FirstCry, which made headlines in October 2016 after acquiring its rival BabyOye. Owned by Busybees Logistics Solutions, Xpressbees aims to fulfill comprehensive supply-demand needs of India’s online industry through best in class solutions and domain expertise.
It caters to the services such as last-mile delivery, reverse logistics, payment collection, drop shipping, vendor management, cross-border services, fulfillment services and tailored software solutions. As mentioned on its website, the team deliver 60,000+ shipments every day, and this number is scaling exponentially. It already works with Paytm as third-party logistics and eKYC partner and also raised $12.5 Mn Series A investment from existing investors SAIF Partners, IDG Ventures, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital in February 2016.
“Alibaba wants to make Xpress-Bees the Cainiao of India, and over time logistics operations for all companies like Paytm Mall and Bigbasket may get consolidated under it giving it a larger captive customer base,” said another ETtech source.