Shiprocket raises funds, joins unicorn club

Market


NEW DELHI : Zomato-backed logistics platform Shiprocket became the latest entrant into the coveted unicorn club after raising 260 crore (around $33 million) from existing investors Temasek Holdings and Lightrock India.

The latest investment bumped up the company’s valuation to $1.2 billion, filings with the corporate affairs ministry showed.

After minting unicorns, or startups valued at $1 billion or more, at a record pace in 2021 and the initial months of this year, the number of new unicorns created in India has slowed down as the unwinding of global liquidity and volatility in public markets made private investors more discerning.

The last Indian startup to achieve the status before Shiprocket was 5ire, which made it to the list on 15 July.

Only 20 Indian startups have turned unicorns this year, most of them in the first three months of the year, compared with 42 in the previous year.

Shiprocket, operated by BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd, sold 59,793 Series E2 compulsorily convertible preference shares for 43,394.13 apiece. The company’s board approved the sale in a meeting on 10 August.

Temasek and Lightrock put in 78 crore and 75 crore, respectively. Bertelsmann Nederland, March Venture Capital Management Services LLC, Moore Strategic Ventures LLC, Huddle Collective and Paypal Inc. brought in the remaining capital.

Emails sent to spokespeople for Shiprocket, Temasek and Lightrock India did not elicit responses.

In December, Shiprocket raised $185 million as part of its Series E round co-led led by Zomato, Temasek and Lightrock.

Founded in 2017 by Gautam Kapoor, Saahil Goel, and Vishesh Khurana, Shiprocket offers logistics services to small and medium-sized businesses, direct-to-consumer brands and social commerce sellers.

The startup claims to serve more than 29,000 PIN codes in India.

In a June interview, Goel said that Shiprocket’s core business is profitable without disclosing the details.

In fiscal 2020-21, the company’s revenue more than doubled to 364 crore from 161 crore in the previous year, according to VCCircle’s data and intelligence platform VCCEdge. However, the company has yet to report its earnings for FY22. In July, Goel also said that the company is not looking for an initial public offering now but wants to be ready for it, without specifying a timeline.

For the past few months, Shiprocket has been actively chasing growth through acquisitions. Last month, Shiprocket acquired Arvind Ltd’s omnichannel technology business Omuni for about 200 crore.

Omuni was Shiprocket’s fifth acquisition. In June, the startup bought Pickrr for around $200 million in a mix of cash and stock.

Earlier this year, the company acquired Glaucus Supply Chain Solutions, Rocketbox and Wigzo Technologies.

In the interview, Goel said that the company would continue to look at inorganic growth opportunities in the post-purchase category, including customer services, shipping, packaging, returns and refunds. He added that the company has enough cash reserves without specifying a number and that most of them are reserved for acquisitions.

He also sought to dismiss the perception that it is looking to take on the big players of the logistics space, such as Delhivery and Xpressbees, who are also its partners.

Shiprocket also expanded into the international market last year with its entry in Saudi Arabia.

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