Shadowfax: The last-mile logistics network

Shadowfax is a startup that aims to use technology to simplify the logistics sector in our country. Let's read through how they stand proud with their admirable services.

The networks of logistics are the backbone of any business. It is the systematic arrangement and practice of a chaotic process. In India, this area gives employment opportunities to more than 22 million individuals. Our country’s actions in the sector have landed us the 44th position among the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. India has also made significant developments in the past decade. Bringing more innovative ideas and the appropriate usage of technology could cause some considerable improvement in the logistics of a company. It could make the whole activity progressively effective and straightforward to deal with. Several firms in India were started with this objective. Shadowfax is one of the most famous last-mile logistics networks in our country.

Shadowfax (1) helps to manage the delivery to e-commerce, FMCG companies, and retail businesses like restaurants, pharmaceuticals, etc. It was founded by Vaibhav Khandelwal and Abhishek Bansal in 2015. With the help of bikes, minivans, trucks, airlines, etc., Shadowfax carries out superfast deliveries across more than 500 cities in India. They have more than one lakh partner network, one crore monthly transactions, and 10000+ Kirana networks. 


Services provided by Shadowfax

Shadowfax has become well-known because of the outstanding services it provides. Not only do they make the logistics chain straightforward and easy, but they also strive every day to stay faithful to their promises. Some of the best aspects of Shadowfax are:

  • They provide hyperlocal delivery services carried out within 30 to 90 minutes. They use the best in class technology so that the delivery partners can quickly make the deliveries without any confusion and complications. 
  • They have a food delivery service that brings you freshly cooked food straight to your home. They take up orders from high-end restaurants to small eateries. The delivery network is managed very efficiently so that your food orders can be brought to you within half an hour. Even during busy hours of the daybreak or packed weekend evenings, Shadowfax makes no compromise on punctuality. 
  • Medicines and health-care products are delivered from the nearest pharmacies in the shortest time possible. Even though there are many medical shops nearby, it may not always be possible for you to walk the distance and buy what you need. Shadowfax realizes this need of the customers and works to add that touch of convenience to your life. The orders are precisely managed, and they make the deliveries of pharmaceutical products within 90 minutes of placing the order.
  • When all sorts of shopping have been moved online, people become lazy to go out even for grocery shopping. With Shadowfax and its trustworthy services, you do not have to worry about refilling your pantries. They effectively handle the delivery related to online grocery purchases. They connect online and offline markets to the customers and make superfast deliveries in many cities. The fast and reliable grocery delivery of Shadowfax is carried out within 90 minutes. 


The birth of Shadowfax

Shadowfax Founders - Vaibhav Khandelwal and Abhishek Bansal
Shadowfax Founders – Vaibhav Khandelwal and Abhishek Bansal

Vaibhav Khandelwal had been following his passion for coding at Adobe while the idea of Shadowfax was born in his mind. It was in 2014 that food delivery services like Foodpanda and Tinyowl we’re gaining attention. Vaibhav had noticed the lack of proper coordination between the eateries and delivery boys. At first, they limited their idea to a delivery app like Swiggy. Vaibhav was still working, so he had to finish his daily job first and then get on to coding for this new concept. He wanted a platform that would serve businesses and not directly to the customers. 

Vaibhav soon built the backends, dashboard, and the app for Shadowfax. The duo knew that different companies had different requirements in case of logistics. Bringing up a business that catered to all these needs would have a vast market among such enterprises. The services of Shadowfax were first initiated in Noida, Delhi. The name was born from Vaibhav’s and Abhishek’s massive love for Lord of the Rings by JR R Tolkien. Shadowfax is the name of Gandalf’s horse in the series. The names of many servers and databases of the app were also inspired by Lord of the Rings. Within a year, Vaibhav gave all his attention to Shadowfax and started working on improving its services. 


Early struggles and growth

Team Shadowfax

The founders of Shadowfax found it tough to convince and operate with blue-collar workers. They were closed off to the changes in the technology and were not willing to take up any method that they were not used to. However, it was because of the way they were usually treated. As soon as Vaibhav and Abhishek realized this, they started treating them as white-collar employees. 

Anyone with a bike and a will to travel to and fro could take up the job as a delivery partner. These delivery partners were given the freedom to work at their convenience. Their only communication was through the Shadowfax app (2). They were not required to make direct communications for pick up and delivery. The company did not demand them to work for a certain amount of time. It was made sure that anyone who worked for the deliveries would get the payment they deserve at the right time. 


The vision behind Shadowfax

Team Shadowfax
Team Shadowfax

Shadowfax hopes to use technology wisely to improve the logistics sector in India. Being a coder himself, he continuously works to build a better platform for the same purpose. All the different branches of Shadowfax across the country can be surveyed from a single location that possesses all the information. Technology brings transparency but allowing them to keep an accurate record of the background data of the businesses and the delivery partners. He believes that a company like Shadowfax can help the economy of India by creating job opportunities for so many small workers. The team is also acting on long term projects and a better system of managing the collected data.


Fundings and investments

The most prominent investors in Shadowfax are Flipkart, Qualcomm Ventures, NGP Capital, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, etc. The angel round of investment was conducted in August 2015 in which they raised 300,000 dollars. Later in September 2015, 8.5 million dollars were brought up in a Series A round of funding. The Series B round was conducted after a year led by Right Roads Ventures, which generated 10 million dollars. The latest investment round carried out in December 2019 gained the most attention because of the presence of the online giant, Flipkart. They helped the company to raise an amount of 60 million dollars. 

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Nidhia Sebastian is an English literature graduate who looks forward to a career that complements her passion. Her never-ending love for language has brought her to creative writing. Having an open heart to knowledge is what leaves her with a thirst to explore the world. She believes in living life to the fullest and hopes to convey the same enthusiasm through her words.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

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Nidhia Sebastian
Nidhia Sebastian
Nidhia Sebastian is an English literature graduate who looks forward to a career that complements her passion. Her never-ending love for language has brought her to creative writing. Having an open heart to knowledge is what leaves her with a thirst to explore the world. She believes in living life to the fullest and hopes to convey the same enthusiasm through her words.

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