Indian Logistics Start-up Smart Express Raises INR 100 Crores


Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:

  • Funding round is led by IIFL PE Fund; other investors are Smiti Holding & Trading Company (Jalaj Dani Family office), Promoter & Founder Yogesh Dhingra and other co-founders
  • Funds will be used to set-up operations, build Pick-Up & Delivery (PUD) and Transit Hub infrastructure, technology stack, team building & attract talent for future and provide innovative solutions that will enable customers to reduce their logistic costs
  • Expected launch in 30 cities during the festive season this year and targets to build over 300 centers across India in next 3 years

Mumbai-headquartered Indian logistics start-up Smart Express is launching operations with a seed capital of INR 100 crores. 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 2 years linked to pre-defined 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. Mr. 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 a robust automated infrastructure at Blue Dart.

The funds will be deployed for team building and creating Pick-Up and Delivery (PUD) & transit hub infrastructure to service customers across India. Other key areas where the funds will be utilized 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.

Smart Express is looking to create a unique position for itself by addressing the industry pain points with its experienced and seasoned team, faster transit time, innovative and differentiated services, and scalable asset light model. Technology will be leveraged for consistent superior service delivery, real time 360 visibility. The startup plans to commence its operations during the festive season this year in around 30 cities. In the next 3 years, Smart Express aspires to build over 300 centers across India, which will include its own PUD service centers, transit hubs, and alliance partners.

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 point through a 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.”

Speaking on initial fundraise and leading the round, Mr. Vikrant Sibal, Senior Executive Vice President, IIFL AMC said, 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 requirements. 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.

About Smart Express Private Limited

Smart Express Private Limited is a newly formed Indian logistics startup that will commence operations around the festive season this year. It is promoted by Yogesh Dhingra, former CFO, COO & CSO of Blue Dart, an industry veteran with over 27 years of experience in logistics space. The company will primarily focus on institutional clients through its range of products like, AirLite Express, AirSecure Express, AirPackage Express Premium, AirPackage Express Economy, Ground Package Express Saver, E-Tail Express Forward, E-Tail Express Reverse.

About IIFL Private Equity Fund

IIFL Private Equity Fund of IIFL Asset Management (IIFL AMC) has been active in the startup space since late 2015. Through multiple schemes, the fund manages an AUM of ~USD 2.5 Bn from early-stage to late-stage investments across Consumer, Technology, Financial Services and Healthcare space. In a span of 5 years, IIFL Private Equity Fund has made investments in multiple unicorns in India and has also generated exits from few of their portfolio companies.

IIFL AMC is an India-focused global asset management firm. Its differentiated product suite includes mutual funds (MFs), portfolio management services (PMS) and alternate investment funds (AIFs) spanning across public and private equity, fixed income, and real estate. IIFL AMC has been a playing a pivotal role in the growth of the AIF industry in India.

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