Pune-based e-commerce logistics startup Xpressbees, which is founded by Firstcry founders Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, is on verge of raising record funding of $100 million from China’s Alibaba.
According to a report, Alibaba holding group will invest around $100 million in Xpressbees and pick up minority stake in the startup. The deal, which according to the sources finalize in next two to three weeks, would be Alibaba’s sixth investment in Indian startup ecosystem. Alibaba had already invested in Paytm, Paytm Mall, Bigbasket and Ticketnew.
If Alibaba’s Xpressbees investment materialize then the total investment of the China firm in India would go over $1.5 billion. Additionally, Alibaba is also in talks to invest about $200 million in Zomato, an India’s restaurant discovery and meal ordering platform.
Launched in 2015 as ‘Busybees’, Xpressbees is the logistics business offshooted from FirstCry, an online baby & maternity products retailer. It demerged from Firstcry when both the co-founders of Firstcry — Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha — also separated where Saha has been leading the logistics business as CEO while Maheshwari has been heading FirstCry.
In 2016, Xpressbees claimed to have scaled to over 100,000 deliveries a day on just $5 million in funding.
XpressBees has till date raised about $200 million in two rounds and its existing investors include SAIF Partners, IDG Ventures India, NEA, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital, some of which may sell a part of their stake in the plausible deal involving Alibaba as investor.
In contrast to its competitors like Delhivery and Ecom Express, XpressBees has built the business on about Rs120 crore of capital till now whereas Delhivery has raised Rs 1,600 crore, and Ecom Express, which has racked up around Rs1,000 crore in capital.
If Xpressbees gets funding from Alibaba then it will help later to to build what founder Jack Ma calls the “iron triangle” of businesses in ecommerce (Paytm Mall, Bigbasket), payments (Paytm) and logistics, which can feed off each other.