Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in Mumbai-based logistics company Mailit, according to a report by news agency PTI. The company said it plans to launch 500 mailrooms across the country, apart from setting up fully mechanised warehouses and distribution centres, in the next five years.
The report quoted Mahesh Shirodkar, founder and CMD of Mailit, saying that the investment by Tata opens up a wider growth prospect for the company. “We intend to scale up the operations across geographies. With our state-of-the-art operations and trained professionals backed by the use of the most innovative technologies available today, Mailit expects an upward trajectory from here on,” he added.
Mailit currently offers courier, cargo, third-party logistics, mail room management digital solutions and postal services to leading corporates and several blue chip companies in the Tata Group.
The investment by Ratan Tata, though in a personal capacity, comes at a time when the Tata Group itself is looking to diversify its primary business and combine its various digital and technology services under the Tata Digital umbrella. A key component of this play would be the company’s upcoming consumer-facing super app.
Mailit is the latest investment by the former Tata Sons chairman, who frequently invests in technology startups, ranging from ecommerce firms, consumer services companies to cab aggregators. In the past, he has backed companies like Snapdeal, Kaaryah, DogSpot, Urban Ladder, Bluestone, CarDekho, Sabse Technologies, Xiaomi and Ola.
Covid Spurs Logistics Tech Boom
Logistics tech startups are bound to attract attention again from investors much like last year as the second wave of the Covid pandemic grips the country. In March, Delhi-based logistics tech startup Ecom Express raised $20 Mn from existing investor CDC Group, a UK government-owned development finance institution (DFI).
Meanwhile, logistics unicorn Delhivery is reportedly in talks with a number of global investors, including US-based Fidelity, for funding before its initial public offer (IPO) that would value the startup at around $3 Bn.
Last year, Shipsy raised $6 Mn for its logistics SaaS expansion. Further, in November 2020, Xpressbees climbed closer to the unicorn club as well with a mega $110 Mn round. With this funding round, the company inched closer to the unicorn club which already has Blackbuck, Delhivery and Rivigo from the logistics tech sector.