Kargo, a Jakarta-based logistics startup co-founded by veteran Uber Asia executive Tiger Fang, has raised $31 million to scale its business and help firms in the Southeast Asian nation fight the coronavirus.
Silicon Valley-based Tenaya Capital, Sequoia India, Mirae Asset Management and Intudo Ventures among others financed Kargo’s Series A round. The startup, which has raised $38.6 million to date, counts Uber founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick as an investor.
Kargo takes some of the concepts behind Uber and applies them to trucking and logistics. Business customers order trucks using a mobile app or website, but the scope is wider, said Fang. Unlike Uber, Kargo works with truck operators and 3PLs rather than truck drivers themselves.
For its Series A announcement, Kargo has an unusual pitch: It wants to help companies in Indonesia fight the coronavirus. The startup plans to do so with its newly formed $1 million relief fund for truckers. Kargo employees have contributed their salaries — and Fang is not taking any salary for next year. Anyone can donate to the fund, Fang told TechCrunch.
The startup has also partnered with several charitable organizations including Kita Bisa, PT Akar Indah Pratama, with whom it is working to deliver meals and essential medical supplies to healthcare workers and patients at multiple hospitals.
Kargo said it is taking several precautions to keep drivers safe. This includes ensuring that all pit stops on its routes are well-stocked and properly disinfected. Kargo has also implemented an electronic proof of delivery mechanism on its platform to limit physical contact between users.
“Kargo pledges to be the most reliable logistics partner to ensure no disruptions to the supply chain of essential items in Indonesia. Our entire company is donating a portion of our salaries to this cause and we invite local businesses and organizations to get in touch so we can work this problem together,” said Fang.
“We’re grateful for our wonderful investors who continue to support us, even in a time of financial uncertainty,” he added.
Logistics remains a major opportunity in several South Asian markets as local shippers and transporters begin to slowly adopt technology to address infrastructure inefficiencies.
Kargo has already amassed more than 6,000 active shippers and a network of more than 50,000 trucks across the nation.