Home / Companies / News /  M&M-backed Porter in talks to raise funds

Logistics startup Porter is in talks to raise $30 million in its ongoing funding round, which values it at about $120 million, said three people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

The round is expected to be led by Swiss investor LGT, through its impact investment platform Lightstone Aspada, the people said.

Founded by Pranav Goel and Uttam Digga in 2014, Porter is known as the ‘Uber for trucks’. The platform operates as a marketplace, wherein one can order mini trucks for intra-city handling from registered truck-owners.

Porter is present in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad, offering truck rentals for individuals as well as for corporate customers.

According to its website, it has over 30,000 driver-partners and has completed more than 3.5 million trips till date. The startup has annualized revenue of about $60 million ( 420 crore), said the people cited above.

Porter’s current investors include venture capital firms Kae Capital and Sequoia Capital, besides Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), one of India’s largest automobile makers. In 2018, M&M had merged its own logistics marketplace SmartShift with Porter, and in turn, invested $10 million in the company. In 2015, Sequoia and Kae had invested $5.5 million in its Series A round.

“Mahindra likes taking minority positions in startups in related spaces to their business. They won’t increase their stake in the current round, but are bullish on the company and the space," said the first person cited above.

Porter’s CEO Goel and LGT Aspada’s managing partner Kartik Srivatsa did not respond to email queries seeking comment.

LGT Aspada has emerged as an active investor in the growth stages of Indian startups in the last few months. Swiss investor LGT, a bank and fund manager with $201 billion of assets under management, acquired Lightstone Aspada from the Soros Economic Development Fund in May 2019. Following the acquisition, Porter will be the third deal it will close in the last few months, after scooter rental startup Vogo and student housing startup Oxfordcaps, which Mint reported on 26 November 2019 and 19 January, respectively.

Porter competes with LetsTransport, which operates in 12 cities. LetsTransport raised $12 million in a Series B round in 2018 from Bertelsmann India Investments and China’s Fosun International, and is currently looking for its next round of financing.

Tech-enabled trucking logistics startups such as Rivigo and Blackbuck have seen scale over the past few years, as businesses use these services more frequently. This is also part of a larger trend where business-to-business startups have raised more capital and been valued almost at par with consumer-facing businesses. Funding in B2B startups rose 68% in 2019 to $3.7 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in 2018, according to data from Venture Intelligence, a startup data tracker.

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