Mumbai-headquartered logistics startup Smart Express is launching operations with seed capital of Rs 100 crore. The round is 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 have also participated in this round. Investment is expected to happen in two tranches over the next two years linked to predefined business milestones to expand across cities and reach a certain scale.
Smart Express is promoted by Yogesh Dhingra who has been the former CFO, COO and CSO of Blue Dart Express Ltd. Dhingra has played a major role in the acquisition of Blue Dart by DHL. A veteran in the logistics space with more than 27 years of experience, he has led several initiatives to build an automated infrastructure at Blue Dart.
The funds will be deployed for team building and creating Pick-Up and Delivery (PUD) and transit hub infrastructure to service customers across India. Other key areas where the funds will be utilised 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.
Yogesh Dhingra, Managing Director and CEO, Smart Express, said,
“We are committed to building a platform that provides high service quality and better products for our customers at competitive price points through transparent process. 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.”
The startup plans to commence its operations during the festive season this year in around 30 cities. In the next three years, Smart Express aspires to build over 300 centres across India, which will include its own PUD service centres, transit hubs, and alliance partners.
Speaking on initial fund raise and leading the round, Vikrant Sibal, Senior Executive Vice President, IIFL AMC added,
“India’s logistics space is vibrant and dynamic. In the current pandemic scenario, the importance of the sector has grown manifold. We are happy to embark on this exciting journey with the vastly experienced Smart Express Team.”
Smart Express will build business across segments including B2B, B2C, D2C, C2C and hyper-local delivery over a period. As part of its unique service offering in the air express category, the company will provide AM/PM deliveries based on customer requirement. To reach out to customers who are unable to afford air services, the company will also offer packages with 48/72/96 hours deliveries for cost-effective solutions.