BlackBuck has raised $67mn from Tribe Capital, VEF and IFC Emerging Asia Fund to become 2021's 16th unicorn, ie, a startup with a valuation of over $1billion. Founded in 2015, BlackBuck is like an Uber for trucks. It runs an online marketplace for trucking, digitises fleet operations, and matches trucks with relevant loads. The idea for BlackBuck came to co-founder Rajesh Yabaji when he was employed with ITC. He would those days go to toll plazas and the highways to sign up trucks to carry load, and cut down costs for ITC. It was around then that cab aggregators Ola and Uber were also starting out in India. "I thought it would be like taxi aggregation only, and I ended up distributing 100 smart phones to truck drivers. Not more than five were active after the first trip, and we just lost 95 smart phones and drivers," Yabaji reminisced with a laugh during an interview to ET Now's Nayantara Rai on StartUpCentral. Calling the early days a "sweet memory" the BlackBuck co-founder says he started off by going to toll plazas to create a director of truckers with their names and contact information. Now BlackBuck has over 7 lakh truckers, 1.2 million trucks, and claims to command a 90% plus market share in online trucking. Its client list includes SMEs, and large corporates like HUL, Reliance, Coca Cola, Asian Paints, Tata, Vedanta and L&T. Its marquee investors at the cap table are Tiger Global, Accel, B Capital, Flipkart, Goldman Sachs and Sequoia Capital.
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