Ontario Teachers’ fund backs Indian logistics unicorn Xpressbees in $80 million funding

Xpressbees, an Indian logistics firm that works with several e-commerce firms in the country, has raised $80 million in a new funding round led by Ontario Teachers’ late-stage venture growth fund amid a surge in the country’s online shopping activity.

The Canadian pension fund has acquired a stake in the Pune-headquartered startup at about $1.4 billion valuation, the same value at which the startup raised a Series F tranche earlier. With the latest investment round, Xpressbees’ cumulative funding has reached approximately $680 million. It didn’t share a name for the round, and also didn’t disclose how much of the new raise came via secondary transactions.

Xpressbees, which also counts Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah, TPG, Alibaba and Blackstone among backers, works with more than 1,000 clients — including financial and e-commerce services giant Paytm, social commerce startup Meesho, eyewear seller Lenskart, phone maker Xiaomi and online pharmacy NetMeds — to deliver their products across the country.

It has presence in over 2,000 cities and towns and it processes more than 2.5 million orders a day. The loss-making startup posted a revenue of about $300 million in the financial year ending March. The arrival of the Canadian pension fund is indicative that Xpressbees is readying itself for an initial public offering within a year to two.

Xpressbees started its journey within FirstCry, an e-commerce for baby products, in 2012. But in 2015, it became an independent company with Amitava Saha, co-founder and chief operating officer of FirstCry, moving out of FirstCry to become chief executive of Xpressbees. Supam Maheshwari, who co-founded FirstCry and serves as its chief executive, is the other co-founder of Xpressbees.

“We are excited about the market opportunity for end-to-end logistics and supply chain solutions that can meet the needs of a diversified customer base across industries, including e-commerce in India,” said Deepak Dara of Ontario Teachers, in a statement. “Led by a strong team, Xpressbees has established a highly scalable and efficient asset-light model with proven execution capabilities.”

Ontario Teachers’ has invested over $3 billion in India, and identifies it as one its “key strategic” countries.

Xpressbees competes with a handful of established firms and startups, including publicly listed firm Delhivery and Shadowfax, which is in advanced stages of talks to raise about $60 million in a round led by TPG NewQuest, TechCrunch earlier reported.


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