Porter Becomes India’s Latest Unicorn Startup, Is Now Valued At $1 Billion

Even as Indian startups are looking to again list on the public markets after a two-year lull, they are also doing well in the private markets.

Logistics startup Porter has become India’s latest unicorn startup after a fresh friend-and-family round. The round saw participants buying shares from the company’s Employee Stock Option Plan at a valuation of $1 billion. This makes Porter the third unicorn startup of 2024 after Ola’s Krutrim and B2B fintech player Perfios.

In the new round, 15-20 individuals bought shares worth Rs. 25 crore in Porter. Prior to this, in the Jan-March quarter of 2023, Porter had similarly sold shares from its ESOP pool worth Rs. 7-8 crore to family and friends, at a valuation of $700 million. In 2021, Porter had raised funds from Tiger Global Management and Vitruvian Partners, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Lightrock India in a round which had valued at the company at $500 million. In FY23, the company reported revenue of Rs. 1,754 crore, which was double its revenue of Rs. 848 crore in FY22.

This is rapid progress for Porter, which had been founded in 2014 by Pranav Goel, Uttam Digga and Vikas Choudhary. Goel and Digga were graduates of IIT Kharagpur, while Vikas Choudhary was an alum of IIT Kanpur. The trio had decided to provide on-demand mini trucks and bikes for delivery of goods. Porter was designed to not only help people move houses within cities, but also offered services including bulk delivery, business parcel delivery, bulk courier services, and logistics solutions for small and medium businesses.

Porter managed to raise money from prominent investors including Tiger Global, Peak XV Partners, Kae Capital, the Mahindra Group and Lightrock, among others, and quickly grew its operations. Today, Porter serves over 20 Indian cities. It is associated with over 5 lakh driver partners, and has served over 1 crore customers with over 10 crore trips. In FY23, the company reported revenue of Rs. 1,754 crore, which was double its revenue of Rs. 848 crore in FY22. One of the original co-founders, Vikas Choudhary, though has exited the company, and now runs a cryptocurrency startup in the US.

Porter has now touched a valuation of $1 billion, making it India’s third unicorn of 2024. Porter’s unicorn status is the latest sign of green shoots finally appearing in India’s startup space — two Indian startups, Digit and Awfis, are set to soon go public, and there are several including Swiggy, Oyo Rooms and Mobikwik which are waiting in the wings. And with the creation of India’s third startup unicorn of 2024, India’s startup space might be looking to gingerly step out of the funding winter.