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Indian E-Logistics Startup Delhivery Delays IPO Plans

Posted on Monday, Nov 26th 2018

According to the FY18 Economic Survey, India’s logistics industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 10.5% from $160 billion in 2018 to $215 billion by 2020. Indian E-commerce logistics startup Delhivery has pushed back its plans for a $350 million IPO and is now looking to raise funding.

Delhivery’s Journey

Gurgaon-based Delhivery was founded in May 2011 by Sahil Barua, Mohit Tandon, Bhavesh Manglani, Suraj Saharan, and Kapil Bharati. It started off as a hyperlocal express delivery service provider for offline stores in Gurgaon. At that time, the online retail segment in India was expanding rapidly. Barua and Tandon, who were consultants with management consulting firm Bain & Company, saw the potential opportunity and decided to focus on e-commerce logistics.

Today, Delhivery has over 3,000 clients including 150 of the largest Indian offline brands. It has now expanded to over 1,200 cities and 12,000 pincodes. It has 24 fulfillment centers with over 1 million square feet of warehouse space. Its team size is over 15,000. It fulfills over 200 million orders per month on an average and claims to have the infrastructure to ship timelines of less than 4 hours.

Delhivery’s Financials

For the financial year ended March 2017, Delhivery’s losses narrowed 49% to Rs 249 crore ($35 million) while revenue increased 44% to Rs 751 crore ($106 million).

According to consulting company Redseer, the share of third party logistics partners has dropped from 55% in 2015 to 45% in 2017. It is expected to fall further to 40% in 2020. However, e-commerce shipments at Delhivery still account for 75% of the company’s revenue and have increased by 40%.

But competition is looming large on Delhivery’s horizon and is a prime reason for its losses. Delhivery faces stiff competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart that use their own logistics divisions, namely Amazon Transportation Services and Ekart. Other players in the sector offering tech-based logistics services in India are BlackBuck, Rivigo, Ecom Express, Snapdeal-backed GoJavas, and Paytm-backed LogiNext.

Delhivery is venture funded and has raised $257.6 million from investors including Carlyle Group, Tiger Global, Nexus Venture Partners, Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Times Internet, and Fosun Group. Last year, the company raised $30 million from Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group at a valuation of $700 million.

In June this year, Delhivery was much in the news with reports of a $350 million IPO at a valuation of over $2 billion. Latest reports indicate that the company has delayed its IPO plans and is in talks to raise $450 million including $350 million from SoftBank Vision Fund. The funding is likely to put Delhivery in the Billion Dollar Unicorn club. SoftBank had earlier invested $238 million in online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar in June and had led the $1 billion funding round in hospitality firm OYO in September.

What has been your experience with e-commerce deliveries? Which logistics provider have you encountered? Have you used Delhivery? How was your experience? How would you compare it to its competitors?

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