India’s trucking system has a major disability problem that is dragging the economy. Blackbuck, one of the handful of startups that is digitizing freight and logistics across India, has now received unicorn status after receiving new funding.

Chief Executive of Black B Chief, Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEFA led a million 67 million Series E financing round in the early six years, valued at about 0 1.02 billion (approximately 2019 Series D). Rajesh Yabaji told TechCrunch in an interview earlier this week. Blackbuck is the 16th Indian startup to become a unicorn this year.

Blackbook connects businesses with truck owners and freight operators. The startup has created a simple application for truck drivers in India, who are generally not very literate, to help them adapt to work and easily navigate to their destination using Google Maps. On the customer side, businesses can fire the same application to place an order.

India today has about 700,000 truckers and 1.2 million connected to the truck platform, which sees more than 15 million transactions per month. Yabaji said, ‘India’s truckers have not become truly digital by the year 2019. Since then, supply activity has increased 20-fold. ‘

“When we launched Blackbook in 2015, only 40% of truck owners had a smartphone and for truck drivers, that adoption was only 7%. By 2019, 100% of truck owners and 70% of truck drivers will have smartphones, ”he said, adding that the growth is due to the advent of low-cost Android smartphones and access to more affordable mobile data (thanks to the Geo platform).

“On top of that, the government started pushing for digital adoption. There is now a digital toll system, and many state governments have made GPS mandatory, ”he said.

During this period, the Blackbuck has also changed significantly. The platform has moved away from relying on call centers for booking orders on an application-based system, Yabaji said today, adding that the startup has reduced its reliance on brokers, which helps them connect with truckers in smaller regions as more truck and fleet owners now Have a smartphone and book directly.

“On the supply side, the platform was built in such a way that it is unknown who is ordering. Anyone who has access to capacity at a specific location and at a specific time can access the load. On Acharya, we have been fine with him since day one, ”he explained. “As we speak today, 95% of load acceptance is by small fleet owners who have two to three trucks.”

For Blackbuck, another challenge involves small and medium-sized businesses. The platform’s largest customer base traditionally includes large enterprises. Yabaji said the biggest growth that Blackback has seen in recent years is due to SMEs. Things have changed dramatically since coming from. In total, the startup has more than 10,000 SME and enterprise customers, which now includes giants like Hindustan Unilever, Reliance, Coca Cola, Asian Paints, Tata, Vedanta, L&T and Jindal.

One of the biggest successes of BlackBooks in recent years is the growth of its fastag offering fur. (FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India that pays tolls directly to the toll owner directly from a prepaid or savings account linked to it.) Yabaji said that 35% of India’s toll costs today are borne by the blackbook.

“We are leaders in this category and have created many unique solutions for Indian truckers,” he said.

Arjun Sethi, co-founder and partner of Tribe Capital, said in a statement that India’s supply chain and logistics industry is moving from paper and pencil to digital. “BlackBook’s ability to measure output and productivity growth has streamlined logistical challenges for the industry in the short term. Its steady high-speed growth promises to bring even greater change to the Indian trucking ecosystem.” Is in talks to support at least two Indian startups.)

Yabaji said Blackbuck would deploy new funds to increase its presence across India and introduce several new features to its market. Blackbin also has a presence in Europe. Yabaji said the startup’s international game is still in its pilot phase and the big burden is currently on India.

“In the midst of the Covid epidemic, Blackbuck has rapidly streamlined its freight freight markets and fleet management services. Sadia Khairi, Fund Head, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, said that BlackBuck has contributed to increasing transparency and efficiency in the large, fragmented and mainly unorganized long-term rental market in India.

The new investment comes at a time when Indian startups are also making record capital and a few mature companies are exploring public markets. This is the 16th Indian start to become a blackbuck this year compared to 11 last year and six in 2019.