The last decade had seen Indian e-commerce companies attain unicorn status, with startups like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues and Paytm Mall all being valued at over $1 billion. This decade, startups which support these e-commerce businesses are finding their place in the sun.
Logistics startup Shiprocket has become India’s latest unicorn after raising Rs 259 crore in an extended Series E round. The round was led by existing investors including Temasek, Bertelsmann, Moore, PayPal and others. The round values Shiprocket at $1.2 billion, making it India’s 106th unicorn startup overall, and its 20th unicorn of 2022.
Shiprocket was founded in 2017 by Gautam Kapoor, Saahil Goel, Vishesh Khurana and Akshay Ghulati. The company connects online retailers with logistics providers, and helps them simplify shipping goods to customers. As e-commerce had boomed in India, a large number of shipping providers had mushroomed as well. These companies charge different rates, have different delivery times, and serve different pin codes. Shiprocket’s solution helps companies select the the shipping companies most suited for their orders, and deliver goods efficiently.
Shiprocket’s platform employs a machine-learning-based data engine that recommends proper courier service for a business and chooses a courier company, and even prints shipping labels and tracks orders from a single panel. Shiprocket allows for integration with 17 shipping companies including Xpressbees, Ekart, Shadowfax, Gati and others, and helps businesses ship their goods quickly and cheaply.
Shiprocket now serves over 1 lakh sellers, and help ship 2 lakh shipments daily. It covers 29,000 pin codes, and can ship goods to 200+ countries. Its customers include brands like Relaxo, Bira, Gillette, Mamaearth and Proline.
While Shiprocket has plenty of big-name customers, it has a big-name backer too — Zomato had invested in Shiprocket last year in its Series E round, and owns a near 8% stake in the company. While Zomato makes sub-1-hour deliveries for food delivery and grocery delivery through Blinkit, Shiprocket has said that its sweet spot will be 3 hour to 6 hour deliveries, and it will focus on those use cases.
But Shiprocket’s entry into the unicorn club indicates how far e-commerce has come in India. E-commerce hadn’t been mainstream until Flipkart had been founded in 2007, but the space has now exploded – India now has vertical-specific e-commerce unicorns like Lenskart and Pharmeasy, social commerce unicorns like DealShare and Meesho, and even B2B e-commerce unicorns like Udaan and Moglix. But apart from these, e-commerce ancillary businesses which help these companies run their operations are doing pretty well for themselves as well — logistics startup Delhivery is now listed on the stock markets, and Shiprocket has now attained a valuation of $1 billion. India’s e-commerce revolution has already birthed new business models, provided millions of jobs, and created billions of dollars of value. And given how it all began just around a decade and a half ago, things might just be getting started.