Rivigo’s $75 million investment shows India’s next big startup sector is smart trucking
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American Freightliner truck for freight transport on trucking route Interstate 10, Louisiana, USA (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images Israel)

Move over food delivery, because India’s smart logistics industry is proving itself to be a formidable vertical

Gurugram startup Rivigo announced Monday a new $75 million colossal funding round led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus. This follows up on a $30 million Series B round announced in December 2015 led by SAIF Partners.

The company says it reduces transit times for freight between 50 and 70 percent. They employ drivers whose hours they track to ensure they don’t work too long and impair their ability to safely operate the 18-wheelers. That allows for what we can call smart shift changes as Rivigo’s trucks operate 24 hours a day. The company has a fleet of some 2,000 trucks available in 150 cities.

“This funding will support our aspiration of becoming the largest logistics company in India by 2020,” Rivigo Founder and CEO Deepak Garg, an alum of IIM Lucknow, said in a press release. Garg previously worked at industry-similar startup TrucksFirst. The money will go toward new IoT investments and new hires, according to the Economic Times.

They offer three services: Prime, Zoom, and Green for refrigerated deliveries. With Zoom, they promise analytics features that will help efficiency depending on the time of the year and season.

Rise of the trucking startups

Founded by Deepak Garg and Gazal Kalra in 2014, their trucks also operate a network of sensors that monitor the temperature in refrigerator trucks and other parts of the classic dashboard. It might go without saying that it includes vehicle tracking.

Warburg Pincus has invested in two other logistics startups in the subcontinent, leading a ₹8.5 billion ($133 million at the time) round in Ecom Express in June 2015 and a $125 million round in Stellar Value Chain Solutions in August 2016.

India has a few startups raising cash in the logistics and shipping space, with Ahmedabad’s Locanix ($300,000 raised), Bengaluru’s BlackBuck who raised an Accel-led $25 million Series B in December 2015, and Bengaluru’s Locus that raised $2.75 million in Series A led by Exfinity Venture Partners this past May with participation from Blume Ventures and Rajesh Ranavat of Fung Capital.

Smart trucking in and of itself has been growing in terms of services offered, technologies procured and even into the realm of self-driving trucks. Uber recently purchased Israeli autonomous truck startup Otto, while other startups like Chicago’s FourKites last month raised a $13 million round. Programs like the new Logistics Tech Accelerator in San Francisco will likely be a draw for many of the up and comers to this sector.

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