Logistics startup BlackBuck has onboarded Flipkart founder and group chief executive Binny Bansal on its board of directors, as per a report by VCCircle. The report quoted an undisclosed source stating that Bansal joined the company’s board after Neeraj Aggarwal, former Vice President of supply chain operations at Flipkart, quit the ecommerce firm and stepped down from BlackBuck’s board in April this year.
An email sent to BlackBuck awaited a response at the time of publication of the article. However BlackBuck’s MCA filings confirmed that Binny Bansal has joined the board of directors in April this year.
Flipkart is one of BlackBuck’s early investors. In June 2015, BlackBuck raised $6 Mn in its Series A round from Accel Partners and Flipkart. Flipkart followed it with another investment in the startup’s $25 Mn Series B round of funding in December 2015 which also saw participation from Tiger Global, Apoletto (DST-Yuri Milner’s Founders Fund), and existing investor Accel Partners. Later in March 2017, Flipkart also participated in its $70 Mn Series C round of funding led by Sands Capital.
At the time of the Series B funding round, Bansal had stated, “The startup ecosystem in the supply chain is very exciting and a great boon for the country, especially as our current supply chain infrastructure is not very reliable. Our investment in BlackBuck is a continuation of our strategy of developing and integrating this ecosystem. The startup brings in new tech capabilities that will not only strengthen Flipkart’s supply chain but will also pave the way for innovations in this area. This partnership is an excellent strategic fit for us.”
However, till date, BlackBuck does not yet count Flipkart as a customer among many which include SMEs and large corporates like Coca-Cola, ITC, HUL etc. This month, the Bengaluru-based logistics has raised $23.05 Mn (INR 50 Cr) in a venture debt funding from InnoVen Capital.
According to Novonous market research, road freight is the largest transportation segment in India, constituting around 63% of the total freight movement. The sector is currently valued at $140 Bn. Inter-city logistics accounts for a massive 95% of road freight movement and by 2020, freight transport market in India is expected to be worth $307.70 Bn.
However, BlackBuck is not the only logistics firm in which Flipkart is an investor. QikPod, a product and service startup founded by the president of Nasscom product conclave Ravi Gururaj, is another logistics startup in which the ecommerce firm is an investor. Just this month, the ecommerce giant has also allocated $460 Mn to its logistics arm Ekart for investments, acquisitions, and inter-corporate loans.
(The development was reported by VC Circle)