Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is investing $10 million in Pune-based logistics startup XpressBees as revealed by the filings made by the company. This investment “appears to be an extension” of the Series D round raised by XpressBees in 2017, according to business signals platform Paper.vc, which obtained the company’s latest regulatory filings. Alibaba had invested $35 million in that round via ‘Alibaba.com Singapore E-Commerce Private Limited.’
XpressBees is allotting 9,317 Series D1 compulsorily convertible preference shares at a price equivalent to $1,073.306 each, to Alibaba, according to Paper.vc. The decision for this investment was taken in an extraordinary general meeting of the members of the Busybees Logistics Solutions Pvt Ltd (XpressBees) on December 16, 2019, at the company’s registered office in Pune.
XpressBees was founded in 2015 by IIM graduates, Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, who are also the founders of SoftBank-backed online baby care products retailer, FirstCry. XpressBees delivers thousands of shipments every day and counts brands such as Myntra, GE and Xiaomi among its customers. The company has raised total funding of $157.6 million from investors including InnoVen Capital and Alibaba Group, according to the data platform Crunchbase.
Logistics companies are attracting a lot of capital from investors as well as strategic investments from large e-commerce companies. In March this year, Gurugram-based logistics startup Delhivery secured $413 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. In May, Bengaluru-based logistics technology company BlackBuck raised $150 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel. In July, this year another Gurugram-based firm Rivigo raised a funding of $65 million in its ongoing series E round, led by existing investors Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners. This month Walmart-owned e-commerce company Flipkart said it has made a strategic minority investment in Shadowfax, a cross-category and full-stack logistics platform founded in 2015. This investment is part of a $60-million Series D funding that Shadowfax has received from investors. Also, this month Walmart and Flipkart also said that they have made a joint strategic investment in Ninjacart, a startup which provides business-to-business (B2B) supply chain infrastructure and technology solutions.
As per the Economic Survey 2017-18, the Indian logistics sector provides a livelihood to more than 22 million people. Improving the sector will facilitate a 10 per cent decrease in indirect logistics costs, leading to a growth of 5 to 8 per cent in exports. Further, the Survey estimates that the worth of the Indian logistics market would be around $215 billion in the next two years compared to about $160 billion currently.