India, Economy

After unicorns started popping up at a record pace last year, it was expected that 2022 would do an encore. Unfortunately, reality is often disappointing, and rising inflation, fears of an economic recession, volatility in the market, tightening purse strings and a funding crunch turned out to be some of the reasons why numerous startups across the globe found themselves unable to spread their wings and break the $1 billion barrier in 2022.

Even though it occurred at a much slower rate than last year, the startup ecosystem has seen its fair share of unicorns over the past months. The latest of the same is logistics aggregator platform Shiprocket, which became the newest addition to the unicorn club, and the 20th Indian startup to do so this year, after raising $33.5 million in fresh funding.

Overall, Shiprocket is India’s 106th unicorn, though a lot of those 106 are well beyond their original $1Bn valuation.

The Series E2 funding round was led by Lightrock India (the Indian arm of the private equity platform) and included participation from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Other participants in the funding round include Bertelsmann, Moore Strategic Ventures, PayPal, March Capital, and Huddle.

Regulatory filings show that the latest bout of funding catapulted its valuation to $1.3 billion, an increase from the $900-$950 million it was valued at after it had raised $185 million from Zomato, Temasek and Lightrock in December.

In the current round, the five-year-old Shiprocket allotted a total of 59,793 Series E2 compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) at an issue price of ₹43,394.13 each. While Lightrock and Temasek put in ₹78 crores and ₹75 crores in Shiprocket respectively, Bertelsmann and Moore Strategic Ventures invested ₹38.9 crores each.

“This investment will help accelerate our roadmap and will also help us bring world-class e-commerce experiences to every direct commerce retailer in India,” said Saahil Goel, CEO and co-founder, Shiprocket.

Founded in 2017 by Goel, Gautam Kapoor, and Vishesh Khurana, the Delhi NCR-based startup is known to provide logistics services to SMEs, D2C brands and social commerce sellers.

With its suite of technology solutions, it also helps retailers integrate their shopping websites across enablers such as Shopify. Shiprocket claims to serve more than 29,000 PIN codes across the country, while around 2.5 lakh sellers use its product and services as it enables delivery of 70 million shipments annually.

It has been busy in recent times as it has been steadily investing in companies on one hand and indulging in an acquisition spree on the other. Some of its recent investments include Woovly, Eat Better, BoldCare, EvenFlow, and Logibricks, while it acquired Wigzo Technologies, Rocketbox, Glaucus Supply Chain Solutions, Pickrr and omnichannel commerce player Omuni since January 2022.