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Last mile logistics startup LetsTransport acquires mini truck hiring platform Shifter


Bangalore-based tech startup Diptab Ventures Pvt Ltd, which runs a marketplace connecting users to last mile logistics service providers for intra-city deliveries LetsTransport.in, has acquired a Shifter, a similar venture which connects mini-truck owners, for an undisclosed amount.

With this acquisition, LetsTransport looks to optimise its customer base and its fleet of transport and delivery vehicles in organised logistics.

“This acquisition will play a key role in augmenting our operations from both a customer as well as a supporting fleet perspective. This will also increase our presence in both business and consumer space. The promoters of Shifter who are also our industry peers will continue to provide us counsel and support in the coming months to ensure smooth transition of operations without impacting the end customer,” said Pushkar Singh, CEO, LetsTransport.

LetsTransport was founded early this year by Singh, Sudarshan Ravi and Ankit Parasher, all IIT Kharagpur graduates. The startup is chasing clients from industries like food, retail/distribution and is aiming to clock close to 2,000 trips this month alone. The company is actively looking to raise funds to invest in product development and to scale in multiple cities.

Shifter, owned and operated by Instatruck Transportation Services Private Limited, offers mini trucks hire service, connecting truck drivers and customers. The company was launched in December 2014 by Prashant Gupta from NIT Tiruchirappalli and Rubbal Sidhu from  IIT Delhi. The service can be availed online or on call. Customers can either pay cash to the driver or use the payment link that will be sent to their mobile phones at the end of the trip to pay online.

A bunch of tech startups have joined the business of connecting last mile logistics services providers for intra-city transport over the recent past. These ventures are asset light and do not own the vehicles themselves and comes across as a booking platform similar to taxi hailing apps Ola and Uber. Indeed several have also raised angel or VC funding.

Last month, Bangalore-based Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates a platform linking users to local mini-truck service providers under the brand theKarrier, has raised Rs 1.5 crore ($240,000) in a seed round of funding led by early stage investment firm Sol Primero. OutBox Ventures and Nikunj Jain, founder of Frankly.me, also participated in the round.

In April, Mumbai-based Resfeber Labs Pvt Ltd, which runs an online logistics marketplace The Porter to book mini-trucks and tempos for intra-city pick-up and deliveries, raised Rs 3 crore (just under $500,000) from Kae Capital. It is now raising a larger Series A funding round.

Last November, Blowhorn raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from impact investor Unitus Seed Fund, with participation from Tim Draper, founder and managing partner of Draper Associates.

According to market research firm Research and Markets, the Indian logistics industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.17 per cent by 2020 driven by the growth in the manufacturing, retail, FMCG and e-commerce sectors. India’s third-party logistics (3PL logistics) is expected to be worth $301.89 billion by 2020.

Full service logistics providers are also attracting money. Private equity firm Warburg Pincus committed to invest over Rs 850 crore ($133 million) in Delhi-based e-commerce focused logistics solutions provider Ecom Express Pvt Ltd. This is the biggest ever PE funding in rupee terms in India in the logistics sector and the second largest in dollar terms. In 2011, a fund under Franklin Park Management bought Bangalore based Vikram Logistic and Maritime Services Pvt Ltd for $152.57 million, according to VCCEdge, the research platform of VCCircle.

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