Vahak, a marketplace for road transport businesses and individual commercial vehicle owners has raised $5 million in Pre-Series A funding led by RTP Global with a notable contribution of Luxor Capital and Leo Capital.
The other marquee angel investors included Kunal Shah – Founder and CEO of Cred; Jitendra Gupta – Founder and CEO of Jupiter, Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal – Co-Founders of Meesho; Mohd Farid – Co-Founder of Sharechat; Amrish Rau – CEO of Pine Labs; Harsimarbir Singh – Co-Founder of Pristyn Care; Rohit and Kunal Bahl – Co-Founders of Snapdeal; and Ravish Naresh – Co-Founder and CEO of Khatabook.
The funding will be used to strengthen Vahak’s team and technological capabilities and expand its customer and network base. India has a humongous need for freight and special goods transportation for different types of cargo. However, millions of trucks remain idle at any given point of time due to operational inefficiencies caused by a lack of technology.
This leads to huge monetary losses for truckers and the logistics sector on a daily basis. Vahak is harnessing cutting-edge technologies to weed out such inefficiencies and help transporters optimize their vehicle utilization through online load booking.
Vahak is a lean start-up that aggregates transport service operators from all over India and already connects to more than half a million trucks across the country. Vahak doesn’t own or operate its own fleets, but, uses an auction marketplace app which allows customers to directly connect with trusted transporters and truck owners across India and book trucks, trailers, and loads on shared vehicles etc. The marketplace also helps transporters to create an online brand for their business, generate leads by leveraging a pan-India network and increase their revenue generation by enabling them to run their vehicles for most days in a month.
Vahak’s operating model is similar to that of Full Truck Alliance, a leading international logistics marketplace valued at over $20 billion. As India moves on to become Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-sufficient India) and a manufacturing hub in sync with the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Vahak aims to ensure the same operational efficiency in the Indian logistics sector through technology integration.
Vahak has developed a service provider network of truckers covering around 8k locations across the country. The platform already manages more than 10k daily active loads and the network now covers major transport and logistics hubs across India and is aiming at reaching $1 billion annual GTV in the next 12 months. Vahak’s growth has captured the interest of investors, growing 10X in the past year to over $100M annualized GTV run-rate on only $800,000 raised.
Speaking on the fundraise, Karan Shaha, Co-founder and CEO, Vahak, said, “We are delighted to receive this funding from an esteemed group of marquee investors. At Vahak, we are leveraging technology to enable the stakeholders in the transport sector to connect with each other and bring growth. We started out with the vision of addressing the huge trust gap in the logistics space and simplifying things for transporters, agents, and vehicle owners. Going forward, we are looking to strengthen our pan-India presence.”
Yousif Al-Dujaili, Venture Partner at RTP Global, added, “Vahak is offering a service that addresses a universal human need in the transport of goods, in one of the largest and fragmented logistics markets in the world. By building an asset and working capital light auction-style marketplace, the team has displayed low operational intensity, ability to scale and business quality we look for in category defining companies. We’re excited by Vahak’s potential to become a mission-critical logistics player in India.”
Rajul Garg, Founder, and Managing Partner, Leo Capital said, “One of the foremost criteria for investment in a startup is how it gets to scale up and leverage resources and tech to solve challenges in the sector it operates in. In that respect, Vahak understands how critical the adoption of technology is for businesses in the transport sector and is working accordingly towards that goal. They are building a stellar team that will help them strengthen their pan- India presence soon and reach every village and town. We wish them all the best.”
Vahak is aiming to create a stronger nationwide presence by bringing more than 3 million truckers to the platform. The company is also looking at leveraging AI and ML technologies for superfast matchmaking and algorithm improvements.