Raised USD $3.65 mn from IDG Ventures, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Draper Associates and Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) to expand to 8 cities by 2019.
Bangalore, India, March 7, 2017. Intra-city logistics startup Blowhorn has raised USD $3.65 mn (INR 25 crores) in series A funding from IDG Ventures India, together with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and existing investors, Draper Associates and Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund). The company plans to utilize the investment to expand operations to 8 cities in the next 24 months, with over 25,000 daily active drivers.
Blowhorn’s tech-enabled platform connects customers to mini-truck owners, enabling intra-city, sub 2-ton deliveries in a hassle-free, reliable and transparent manner. Founded by Mithun Srivatsa and Nikhil Shivaprasad, who have a deep expertise of over two decades in logistics and technology, Blowhorn is effectively aggregating and streamlining India’s fragmented logistics market that currently has over 1.8 mn mini-trucks in urban centers alone.
Commenting on the company’s fund raise and growth, Mithun Srivatsa, Co-Founder and CEO, Blowhorn, said, “We have been able to leverage technology and operational innovation to emerge as a market leader by ensuring high business profitability and customer satisfaction. We will now focus on leading the segment across all performance metrics, and are fortunate to have investors who share our vision.”
Will Poole, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) said, “India’s market for intra-city logistics is 3 times the size of the passenger transportation market. In this increasingly competitive, fragmented and price-sensitive industry, Blowhorn has been continually increasing its month-on-month sales, while steadily improving gross margins.
With their new round of capital, Blowhorn will be able to further expand their geographical presence and innovate on solutions that benefit business customers as well as their large and growing network of low-income drivers.”
The company’s superior technology improves drivers’ capacity utilization by connecting them to customers (through website and mobile app), enables real time/spot management, reduces fuel costs and time significantly – leading to high customer satisfaction and successfully doubling drivers’ incomes. Blowhorn also has a unique comprehensive driver-training program, wherein all drivers are trained in customer service.
Founded in 2014, Blowhorn started with 2 employees and has now scaled to 50 full-time employees. It’s innovative campaigns such as 1-hour delivery of mobile phones in partnership with OnePlus and #UberIceCream deliveries with Uber have enabled Blowhorn to work with several cutting-edge companies across India. In less than 2 years, Blowhorn has expanded to provide services across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.
“There have been many attempts at solving India’s intra-city logistics challenge—Blowhorn’s extensive use of technology and business level innovation has helped build a strong, rapidly-growing business with industry leading margins in a highly capital efficient manner. Blowhorn has the potential to be a dominant solutions provider of last mile logistics for SMEs and rapidly growing businesses.” Said Karthik Prabhakar, Director, IDG Ventures India Advisors.
Commenting on their participating in this financing round, Rahil Rangwala, Director, Family Economic Stability at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “One of India’s major challenges is to provide market-relevant skills and meaningful jobs to its large, young and growing workforce. Our investment in Blowhorn gives us an opportunity to improve the income of intra-city truck drivers, who are mostly youth. We are excited to support Blowhorn’s effort in making informal sector jobs more attractive for India’s underprivileged youth, which also fulfills the goals of the government’s Skill India initiative.”
A disruptive logistics startup from Bangalore, Blowhorn specializes in intra-city logistics, and offers mini-trucks for rent in multiple cities in India. It was started by Mithun Srivatsa and Nikhil Shivaprasad, both of whom graduated from the National Institute of Technology, Nagpur in 2005.An alumnus also of Cambridge Judge Business School, Mithun has professional experience spanning a decade with the world’s premier logistics companies. Nikhil completed his MS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University, and has worked on building technology solutions for multiple Silicon Valley technology companies for over nine years. More about Blowhorn >
About Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)
Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is the leading impact venture fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India. Unitus invests in sectors including healthcare, education, mobile & consumer, retail & ecommerce, financial services, and agriculture. Founded in 2012, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is managed by Capria Ventures which is part of the Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is based in Bangalore and Seattle, and is a member of the Capria Network.