Zebroads, a Hyderabad-based online logistics and warehousing startup, has raised $75K (INR 50 Lakh) in an angel round funding from undisclosed investors. The team plans to invest the raised funds in increasing warehousing space, technology upgradation and improvement in logistics partners, tells founder, Chandra Shekhar.
The portal was launched in January 2016 by Chandra Shekhar with an aim to disrupt the logistics and warehousing space in SME segment. “As top companies get their warehousing and logistics done through Big CFA players in the market, it becomes difficult for SMEs to manage cost and effectiveness at the same time,” said Shekhar. “Also, we see that there was demand for tailor-made services in warehousing, logistics and distribution channel.”
To book a truck, consumers can either use call centre services or book via web portal. Once the nearest driver/partner is located, the confirmation is sent by WhatsApp or SMS. The goods can then be loaded and moved. It helps in providing Mini trucks for smaller Loads, Mid-sized Trucks for Bigger loads, Trained and Screened Manpower (Helpers / Supervisors / Packers etc).
They are currently focusing on Business Logistics Solutions – End to End solutions of Warehousing ,Transport and Manpower to Traders, Distributors, Large Industries, C&F Agencies, and other trading partners.
Initial response was not so good but they quickly adjusted and now, the team is currently handling a business size of around INR 10 crores a month. Also, they have recently signed up with 3 more new companies and medium firms. “As we have already started getting traction, we are profitable from the first month onwards.”
The Indian trucking industry is currently valued at $130 Bn and there are approximately 5.6 Mn on road vehicles transporting 80% of the country’s freight. In India road freight constitutes around 63% of the total freight movement. With growth in Indian FMCG, retail and pharmaceutical sectors, the CAGR of the sector is expected to increase to 15%, as per the research firm NOVONOUS.
The key factors driving this growth are continuing trend towards replacement of ageing fleet and expectations of pickup in demand from infrastructure and industrial sectors in view of reforms being initiated by the Government.
As mentioned by Ishu bansal, founder TruckSuvidha, despite of having 4.7% contribution to country’s GDP, the logistics industry is still not able to give its due share as
“Ultimately in the future we want to create ‘Pay as Use’ concept for SMEs and medium sized companies to make sure that they spend optimum money on warehousing, logistics and thereby improve their margins by sharing warehousing, manpower and logistics expenses,” added Shekhar.
Presently, online logistics space in trucking industry is burgeoning with startups. Last year, Delhi-based Moovo raised funding from YouWeCan Ventures. Bangalore-based Instavans Logistics Pvt Ltd raised funding from Dell Services President Suresh Vaswani.in October 2015.
Other similar players in the space include Shippr, Blowhorn, ShiftSure, Loadkhoj, Suainlogistics, Loadjunction, Thetruckingexckange, Uship, FreightBazaar, Lorryguru, ReturnTrucks, TrucksFirst, TruckMandi, and more. The space has already attracted due attention from the investors.
As things are moving fast, it would be worth watching how these startups could nail this opportunity in next few years.
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