The year 2020 and a portion of 2021 were like a black hole in the history of the world. Everyone saw what no one could have imagined ever. It seemed as if some movie is playing in front of the eyes, a virus broke out in the lab, and eventually spread itself to the whole world. The virus was so deadly that it killed so many people that it still brings out the goosebumps on remembering it.
Personally, I visited the hospital and I saw the fear in the eyes of the patients, innocent and clueless people waiting for the doctors to tell what is the procedure, what will happen, and what needs to be done. People were dying because of lack of oxygen, non-availability of hospital beds, and basic medications. The health system of the country had been broken down completely and the future seemed uncertain, even to those who were sitting at their homes. Nobody knew what would happen the next minute, leave alone the next day.
The central government had imposed the national lockdown in the first COVID wave, and state governments did state lockdowns in the second wave. People were sitting at their homes, and besides health, do you know what other thing was compromised the most? Yes, it is economy. The local shops and local businesses could operate for just specific hours a day, and people in the fear of the virus were not stepping out of their homes, so the footfall rate at the shops was almost equal to null.
There was no action in the economy, money was not circulating, people were buying just the basic amenities and nothing more than that. Many weddings were canceled or postponed, so, the event management sector was not all operating, and with no functions to enter, the shopping for all that was not done, thus affecting so many different businesses related to it.
The number of cases eventually has started coming down in the past 1 or 2 months, and the economy has been opening. Many online businesses were able to conduct their operations and many of the startups which had been operating in the doom period came into the eyes of the investors.
They received funding, and some of them in that list received so much, that their value increased to more than USD 1 billion and entered the famous “Unicorn Club”. Pine Labs, Nykaa, Grofers, Cars24, DailyHunt, Zerodha, Zeta, Firstcry, Unacademy, and many more. Now, a new startup has been added to the list, it received the funding and the value of the startup became post USD 1 billion and thus became a Unicorn.
An online trucking logistics platform, BlackBuck:
As announced on July 22, 2021, received funding of USD 67 million. This round of funding was led by Tribe Capital, which is a Silicon Valley-based Venture Fund, Asia Fund, which is an emerging fund of IFC, and a European investor, Vostok Emerging Fund(VEF). The other participants of the round were the existing investors’ Wellington Management, Sands Capital,and the investment aerm of World Bank, IFC.
The correct financials have not yet been disclosed by BlackBuck, but according to a source close to this matter, it is currently valued at USD 1.02 billion, and prior to it in 2019 it was valued at USD 950 million. The source even said that the valuation of the startup in 2018 was USD 850 million. The funds raised will be used by BlackBuck in expand and launch new service offerings for its customers.
Headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana, BlackBuck is engaged in forming a new path for in trucking with an aim to make trucking simple for every shipper and trucker. Founded in , BlackBuck has been playing a key role in bringing the offline operations of the trucks to the online mode, and has helped in changing the infrastructure in terms of payments, insurance and financial services.
The aim of BlackBuck is to make the life of truckers easy, by making the process of booking the load, and making sure that the shippers have teh access to the right type of trucks easy, all at the click of the button. It has a network of more than 15000 clients , more than 12,00,000 trucks operating in more than 2000 locations. Some of the big names in its list of clients are- Hindustan Unilever, Coca Cola, Asian Paints and the Tata Group. The other investors of the startup are Sequoia, Accel, Goldman Sachs, and B Capital.
The co-founder and CEO of BlackBuck made a statement saying that the dream with which the startup was started was to re-imagine trucking, to make it 10X simpler,easier, and efficient. BlackBuck aims to dedicate itself to the future where it is able to solve the problems of teh trucking system of the country. It has been six years since the incorporation of BlackBuck and it has started to make a difference. He further said that the new funds raised has given BlackBuck more power to invest in hard trucking problems and continue in research and development.
The co-founder and partner at Tribe Capital, Arjun Sethi said in a statement saying that the logistics industry of the country is shifting from pen and paper to digital. The ability of the startup to measure output and productivity growth has solved some challenges of the industry in a span of short period of time. He further said that the high growth of the startup looks promising for a greater change in the Indian trucking ecosystem.
This is the 16th unicorn of the year, and we are just done with half a year. So, it can be safely said that the economy is coming back on its track and we just hope that the future is bright for each one of us.