Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) has led a $40 million (R600 million) investment in ElasticRun, a virtual logistics network that is revolutionising consumer products delivery across India.
The funds have been raised with participation from existing investor Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital.
The new investment round will help the company expand its deeply penetrated logistics network, which is already helping to reshape India’s $300 billion logistics industry.
ElasticRun will also use the new funds to further build its technology platform to accommodate new product lines, expand the platform to additional categories, and to evolve its analytics and machine learning platforms to handle national scale.
At the same time, ElasticRun will expand its network coverage to new geographies and further deepen its operations in existing geographies.
“The last mile problem is still a major issue both for logistics and consumer good companies in India. By working with the network of small stores across the country, we solve that problem while helping the store owners grow their businesses at the same time,” said Sandeep Deshmukh, ElasticRun Co-Founder and CEO.
“In addition, offering a flexible logistics extension to consumer goods companies to directly reach these small retail shops is a huge advantage over traditional distribution networks,”
Deshmukh continued, “We are delighted to welcome Prosus Ventures as our new investment partner. Their extensive investments in India and strong track record helping support and grow some of the best Indian startups mean they are perfectly placed to provide us with the help we need for our next stage of growth.”
ElasticRun’s services are already available in over 200 Indian cities and are built on its network of small convenience stores.
ElasticRun enables small store owners to leverage the quiet times of the day to gain increased revenue by handling local last-mile deliveries. At the same time, ElasticRun is working with marquee consumer goods companies to offer a plug-n-play distribution network to extend their existing distribution network to the stores in its network.
It provides deeper visibility to its customers into consumption data across the Indian market. ElasticRun looks to extend this network to a million stores in the near future.
“Naspers has been investing in India for more than a decade, partnering with businesses that are solving big societal needs with technology, in a uniquely Indian way. ElasticRun is one of those rare businesses that identified a massive need in the market, matched it with a local solution paired with technology, for the benefit of all parties involved,” said Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments for India, Prosus Ventures.
“Consumers get faster deliveries and greater choice of goods, store owners realise increased revenues and touchpoints with their customers, and consumer goods companies get better access and insight into their target audiences.
“We are impressed by the extensive logistics experience of the founding team, combined with their deep knowledge of local market conditions and their state-of-the-art technology platform, and look forward to helping them build the company further.”
Prosus Ventures is the venture investing arm of Prosus – a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world.
It invests across a range of markets, including next-generation e-commerce, education, health, blockchain and more, and the Ventures team brings in-depth experience, knowledge and resources from around the world to help entrepreneurs build, grow and scale their businesses.
Every day, millions of people use the products and services of companies that Naspers Ventures has invested in including Brainly, BYJU’S, Codecademy, DappRadar, Dott, Honor, iFood, Joymode, Meesho, Movile, SimilarWeb, SoloLearn, Swiggy and Udemy.
Prosus Ventures is actively searching for new opportunities to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to address big societal needs.