Pune-based logistics startup ElasticRun on Wednesday announced a fundraise of $40 million, led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) with participation from existing investor Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital.
The new investment round will help the company expand its logistics network, build its technology platform to accommodate new product lines, expand the platform to additional categories and evolve its analytics and machine learning platforms to handle national scale. ElasticRun will also expand its network coverage to new geographies and deepen its operations in existing geographies.
ElasticRun was founded by Sandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam and Shitiz Bansal in 2016 and its services are available in over 200 Indian cities. It leverages the network of small convenience stores by enabling the store owners to gain increased revenue by handling last mile deliveries. ElasticRun is also working with marquee consumer goods companies to offer plug-and-play distribution network. It provides deeper visibility into consumption data across Indian market to its customers. ElasticRun looks to extend this network to a million stores in the near future.
“The last mile problem is still a major issue both for logistics and consumer goods companies in India. By working with the network of small stores across the country, we solve that problem while helping the store owners grow their businesses. In addition, offering a flexible logistics extension to consumer goods companies to directly reach these small retail shops is a huge advantage over traditional distribution networks," said Sandeep Deshmukh, ElasticRun Co-Founder and CEO.
“Naspers has been investing in India for more than a decade, partnering with businesses that are solving big societal needs with technology, in a uniquely Indian way. ElasticRun is one of those rare businesses that identified a massive need in the market, matched it with a local solution paired with technology, for the benefit of all parties involved. Consumers get faster deliveries and greater choice of goods, store owners realize increased revenues and touchpoints with their customers, and consumer goods companies get better access and insight into their target audiences," said Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments for India, Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures).
The founding team’s extensive logistics experience, knowledge of local market conditions and their state-of-the-art technology platform makes it a good bet for Prosus, he added.