Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

India logistics firm Roadrunnr raises $11m venture funding

Steve Rogerson and Reuters
July 28, 2015
 
Roadrunnr, a B2B online platform and service provider for hyper local logistics, has raised $11m from Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. This investment is to help the Bangalore-based company enhance its technology platform, expand nationally and build a dense delivery network.
 
“Having seen on-demand delivery being a clear trend in India driven by the consumer’s desire for convenience and quality, we at Roadrunnr are committed to solving the hyper local logistics problem for merchants and online aggregators,” said Mohit Kumar, co-founder & CEO of Roadrunnr. “Our services are asset light, involving no hubs or warehouses, which allows a flexible model for both merchants and drivers. In a short span of time, we have been able to achieve delivery accuracy of close to 100 per cent and have reached about 1500 orders a day.”
 
The company aspires to provide every merchant in India with the capability to deliver orders rapidly and on-demand to customers in their locality by connecting them with a supply force using mobile technology. The company caters to merchants, restaurants and ecommerce companies, managing their deliveries cost effectively while adhering to service level agreements.
 
“Hyper-local logistics is a very complex maths and operational problem to solve at scale,” said Sameer Brij Verma, principal at Nexus Venture Partners. “A robust blend of platform thinking along with exceptional operational execution are critical to provide fulfilment services for merchants and online aggregators in a scalable and cost effective manner. Roadrunnr’s team has that great mix for solving this problem and we are excited to partner with them.”
 
The company has quickly grown to have the largest fleet for on-demand services in Bangalore and has recently started operations in Delhi NCR. It now plans to take this model across India and develop the largest fleet of on-demand hyper local delivery carriers in the country. The company is piloting its services in Mumbai and is seeing a strong response from merchants.
 
“Hyper-local logistics due to time criticality and optimum routing challenges can be only solved through a technology platform approach,” said Adit Parekh, principal at Blume Venture. “This augmented with excellent operation skills allows Roadrunnr to provide a simplified and cost effective fulfilment solution to local merchants and online aggregators. We are thrilled to partner with the Roadrunnr team in this endeavour. ”
 
It partners with students, drivers and others who work with Roadrunnr on a part-time basis. The pricing model differs from other aggregators as it charges merchants a flat fee based on their shipment size rather than the value of the order.
 
“Roadrunnr has successfully simplified the challenges of on-demand delivery due to their focus on a streamlined and transparent platform,” said Gautam Mago, managing director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors. “The company is poised to be an essential resource for merchants who are looking to make smart decisions with their businesses. With this funding, Roadrunnr will able to expand its network of merchants for online ordering and grow its business nationally.”
 
The company has previously raised seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
 
Roadrunnr was founded by Mohit Kumar and Arpit Dave who worked together at Flipkart. The team previously worked with Ola, Amazon and Flipkart. They are building a robust technology platform that aims to enable handling logistics at scale and run operations in an efficient manner.
 
• Fairfax India Holdings, a fund set up by Canadian investor Prem Watsa to target Indian assets, said last week that it would buy a 74 per cent stake in commodities storage and services firm National Collateral Management Services (NCMSL) for about $126m.
 
Reuters had reported in June that Watsa's firm was set to take a 70 to 75 per cent stake in NCMSL worth $120m to $150m. The deal, valued at about eight billion rupees, is expected to be completed in 2015, Fairfax said in a statement.
 
NCMSL, which is hoping to benefit from a boost to India's underdeveloped agricultural storage industry under Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's push for food security, will continue to operate independently under chief executive Sanjay Kaul, Fairfax said.
 
Hyderabad-born Watsa, whose main firm is Fairfax Financial Holdings, set up Fairfax India late last year to boost the firm's investments in India. Fairfax India went public in January this year and raised more than $1bn via its initial public offering.