Alibaba Backs Indian eComm Logistics Firm With $10M Infusion

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Chinese eCommerce behemoth Alibaba is supporting the Indian logistics startup XpressBees with a $10 million investment, DealStreetAsia reported Thursday (Dec. 26).

The investment is likely an extension of the startup’s 2017 Series D funding round, according to the company’s latest regulatory filings, the financial intelligence platform reported, DealStreet said. Alibaba invested $35 million in that round but was anticipated to go up to $100 million, Economic Times reported last year.

“XpressBees is allotting 9,317 Series D1 compulsorily convertible preference shares at a price equivalent to $1,073.306 each to Alibaba,” the article indicated.

Based in Pune, India, the eCommerce logistics firm XpressBees was founded in 2015 by Indian Institutes of Management graduates Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha. The duo also founded an eCommerce site featuring baby products called FirstCry, which is backed by SoftBank. 

The company has raised $157.6 million in funding led by InnoVen Capital and Alibaba Group, according to Crunchbase. Other investors include Paytm, SAIF Partners and Chiratae Ventures. 

The growing eCommerce industry in India is triggering investments in logistics companies. In March, Gurugram-based logistics startup Delhivery secured $413 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. In May, the Bengaluru logistics technology company BlackBuck raised $150 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel. In July, the Gurugram-based firm Rivigo raised $65 million in its ongoing series E round, led by existing investors Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners. 

The eCommerce retail logistics market was valued at $1.35 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow about 36 percent in the coming five years, per a 2018 KPMG report.

In June, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) State of Logistics Report 2019, reported that logistics costs are continuing to rise, buoyed by continued strength in the economy. Total U.S. logistics costs rose by 11.4 percent to an overall $1.6 trillion. The latest tally is a record, as stated in the report — the latest annual reading in a series that stretches back 30 years.