Behind all prosperous businesses stands a wide logistics chain that is efficient in its undertakings. Have you ever wondered why it takes days for you to receive something that you ordered online? All this time is utilized to get it transported from one point to another in the quickest way possible. From bringing the supplies, to collecting the manufactured goods and delivering them to various locations in the country, logistics plays a significant role in our economy. Several thousands of trucks help to make this chain productive and successful. The B2B sector requires enterprises that can carry out these procedures effectively. BlackBuck (1) is one such company that organizes trucks from several parts of India.
By taking office operations online, BlackBuck has simplified the whole process to make it more convenient for both the drivers and shippers. All companies need trucks for their logistics, and there are more than enough truckers in our country looking for employment. Blackbuck has made a significant contribution to the logistics division in the country by digitizing this sector. The BlackBuck company was founded by Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya, and Rama Subramaniam B in 2015. It was launched as Zinka Logistics Solutions Private Limited. BlackBuck is now one of the leading trucking companies in India and can be rightfully called the Uber for Trucks.
The co-founder of Blackbuck, Rajesh Yabaji, is a graduate from IIT Kharagpur. After completing his studies, he secured a job at ITC. He had also performed many internships in the business field. The opportunity to function directly under a chief executive officer at ITC helped Rajesh to improve his abilities and become advanced in his mission. Rajesh believes that your first boss can shape your skills more than anyone else can. The lessons he learned at ITC enabled him to come up with the business model of Blackbuck.
The idea of Blackbuck was born in Rajesh’s mind when he joined a supply chain project. He observed that the appropriate use of technology had the power to evolve the supply chain system. He thought of various solutions that could revolutionize all aspects of logistics. It was during his venture with this network that Rajesh met Rama Subramaniam who had more than 17 years of expertise in this area. Together, they started working on the idea of Blackbuck. Rajesh brought together 40 other employees from ITC who wanted to join in on this endeavor.
The founders wanted to build a connection between the various sectors that needed logistics. Traditionally, every single entity had its own chain of logistics, which could be made more efficient by combining them. They wanted to digitize these procedures so as to bring benefits to both the truckers and clients. Rajesh and Rama were working on this structure when Chanakya Hridaya entered the team. During the time he joined, Chanakya had been an intern at IIT Kharagpur. The trio is now the co-founders and chief executives at Blackburn.
The growth of Blackbuck over the years
BlackBuck started their business in 2015 with 10,000 trucks which were available for booking. They launched the ‘Supply’ application for supply partners. The companies could request for trucks that were suitable for their requirements and timings. The advanced technology and machine learning algorithm used by Blackbuck enabled them to make accurate matches between truckers and shippers. By the time it was May 2016, Blackbuck had been operating with more than 50,000 trucks all over the country. In the same year, they initiated the ‘Demand’ app, which helped the small and medium enterprises to find trucks.
The founders of Blackbuck were recognized as one of the “16 startup founders to watch out for” by the Economic Times in 2016. Their customers included big companies that ordered around 20,000 trucks a single day to the SMEs that required less than five vehicles in a month. According to the statistics, their rate of revenue was growing by 40 per cent to 80 percent every month. After the platform for services was launched in 2017, BlackBuck saw considerable growth in its client base. The founders made it to the list of Forbes India 30 under 30 and Entrepreneur India’s 35 Under 35 in 2017.
They also started a ‘Services’ app exclusively for fleet owners. By the year 2018, BlackBuck had more than 1000 employees and two lakh trucks delivering to over 1000 pin codes. The ‘Driver’ app for truck drivers was also commenced in August 2018. In the same year, Blackbuck achieved the title “Young Turks Startup of the Year” by CNBC-TV18. As of now, they have popular companies like Hindustan Unilever Limited, Asian Paints Jyothy Laboratories, Amul, Haldia Petrochemicals Limited, Britannia, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Marico, etc. as their customers. BlackBuck has also collaborated with the World Bank and the Indian government to carry out crucial initiatives like Goods and Services Tax (GST) and digital Electronic Way Bill.
The services provided by BlackBuck
BlackBuck has made its contribution to two prominent sections of the logistics network – freight and transportation. Through the app, it helps the clients to quickly discover suitable truck drivers, which also allows the drivers to find work. They can now find trips based on their convenience and preferred timings. A platform for freight managed by GPS enables the efficient shipping and transport of goods.
Other major features of Blackburn are the various language options, truck mapping, track, and trace, etc. They also regularly check the working condition of the trucks to ensure smooth transports. The account management services make the financial transaction easy and controllable. Using a single tap on their mobile, the clients and drivers can easily send and receive payments through BlackBuck without any hassle. This startup had modified the entire infrastructure by providing insurance and other financial aids.
Fundings and Investments
The leading investors in BlackBuck are Flipkart, Accel, Sequoia Capital India, Sands Capital Ventures, Light Street Capital, etc. As soon as the startup was established in 2015, BlackBuck received a series A round of funding worth five million dollars from Accel. Their series B round of funding was also led by Accel in December 2015, and it raised 25 million dollars.
In March 2017, Sands Capital Ventures led the Series C round of investment in BlackBuck. It saw participation from three investors who together brought up 70 million dollars. The latest round of series D funding was announced in March 2019, and the major investors were Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel US along with B Capital and Sequoia Capital. It raised a total of 150 million dollars which helped to bring the net worth of BlackBuck to 300 crore rupees.