FedEx Express, a subsidiary of delivery services giant FedEx, is investing $100 million in Indian startup Delhivery as the global firm looks to expand its presence in the South Asian country.
Friday’s investment comes less than two months after the Gurgaon-headquartered startup, which is valued at $3 billion, secured $277 million ahead of an initial public offering in the coming quarters.
As part of the deal, the companies will enter into a long-term commercial agreement. FedEx Express will focus on international export and import services to and from India, and Delhivery will, in addition to FedEx, sell FedEx Express international products and services in the India market and provide pickup and delivery services across India. FedEx will transfer certain assets pertaining to its domestic business in India to Delhivery.
“Our aim is to bring new products and opportunities to Indian and global businesses and consumers through unique access to our networks, and our technology and engineering capabilities,” said Delhivery co-founder Sahil Barua said of Friday’s investment.
Delhivery began its life as a food delivery firm, but has since shifted to a full suite of logistics services in over 2,300 Indian cities and more than 17,500 zip codes. It is among a handful of startups attempting to digitize the demand and supply system of the logistics market through a freight exchange platform.
Its platform connects consigners, agents and truckers offering road transport solutions. The startup says the platform reduces the role of brokers, makes some of its assets such as trucking — the most popular transportation mode for Delhivery — more efficient, and ensures round the clock operations.
This digitization is crucial to address the inefficiencies in the Indian logistics industry that has long stunted the national economy. Poor planning and forecasting of demand and supply increases carrying costs, theft, damages and delays, analysts at Bernstein wrote in a report last month about India’s logistics market.
Delhivery, which says it has delivered over 1 billion orders, works with “all of India’s largest e-commerce companies and leading enterprises,” according to its website, where it also says the startup has worked with over 10,000 customers. For the last leg of the delivery, its couriers are assigned an area that never exceeds 2 square kilometers, allowing them to make several delivery runs a day to save time.
Indian logistics market’s TAM (total addressable market) is over $200 billion, Bernstein analysts said. The startup said late last year that it was planning to invest over $40 million within two years to expand and increase its fleet size to meet the growing demand of orders as more people shop online amid the pandemic.