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Logistics

Yogesh Dhingra-promoted startup Smart Express raises ₹100 crore

August 17, 2021: In another big-ticket investment in the logistics space, Mumbai-headquartered logistics start-up Smart Express is launching operations with a seed capital of ₹100 crore. 

Smart Express promoter and founder Yogesh Dhingra
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Smart Express promoter and founder Yogesh Dhingra

August 17, 2021: In another big-ticket investment in the logistics space, Mumbai-headquartered logistics start-up Smart Express is launching operations with a seed capital of ₹100 crore.

The Smart Express funding was led by IIFL India Private Equity Fund and Smiti Holding & Trading Company (Jalaj Dani family office). Promoter and founder Yogesh Dhingra, and other co-founders also participated in the round. The investment is expected to happen in two tranches over the next two years linked to pre-defined milestones to expand across cities.

Dhingra, who was the former CFO, COO and CSO of Blue Dart Express, played a major role in the acquisition of Blue Dart by DHL.

Recently, Gurugram-based SaaS-based logistics startup Pickrr had raised $12 million in a Series B round led by IIFL, Amicus Capital, and Ananta Capital last week. Existing investors Omidyar Network India and Guild Capital also participated in the round.

The funds will be deployed for team building and creating pick-up and delivery (PUD) & transit hub infrastructure to service customers across India, according to a release by Smart Express. “Other key areas where the funds will be utilized include development of unique and state of the art technology to support operations and building innovative solutions that will enable customers to experience best-in-class services at optimal cost.”

The startup plans to commence its operations during the festive season this year in around 30 cities. In the next three years, Smart Express is planning 300 pan-India centres including PUD service centres, transit hubs, and alliance partners.

“We are committed to building a platform that provides high service quality and better products for our customers at competitive price points through a transparent process,” said, Dhingra, who is also the managing director and CEO of Smart Express, said.

“Our state-of-the-art technology will help provide 360 visibility, faster transit time and better customer experience. To make a difference in the market, we are also creating a future-ready team that has a combination of industry experience, passion and energy.”

India’s logistics space is vibrant and dynamic, and the importance of the sector has grown manifold during the current pandemic, according to Vikrant Sibal, senior executive vice president, IIFL AMC. “We are happy to embark on this exciting journey with the vastly experienced Smart Express team.”

Smart Express will primarily focus on institutional clients through its product range including AirLite Express, AirSecure Express and AirPackage Express Premium. The start-up is planning to build business across segments including B2B, B2C, D2C, C2C and hyper-local delivery. As part of its unique service offering in the air express category, the company will provide AM/PM deliveries based on customer requirements.

Logistics has been attracting a lot of attention. FedEx Express, a subsidiary of US-based logistics major FedEx, last month announced that it will invest $100 million (₹744 crore) in SoftBank-backed Delhivery which is set to float its initial public offering (IPO). Logistics-tech start-up BlackBuck raised $67 million (₹498 crore) as part of its Series E funding to become the 16th unicorn in 2021.

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