Flipkart leads $60mn financing round in logistics platform Shadowfax

India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart has made a strategic minority investment in Indian logistics platform Shadowfax. The investment is part of $60 million Series D funding Shadowfax has received from Flipkart, along with existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, NGP Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset Naver Fund and World Bank-backed International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Shadowfax will use the funds to enhance the technological capabilities of its platform and recruit talent in support of its bid to become the largest logistics player in India.

Founded in 2015, Shadowfax is a crowdsourced logistics platform, and widely recognized in India as the Uber of logistics. Users can input location and order data into the platform, which uses artificial intelligence to determine optimal plans for last-mile delivery of goods, from hot food and groceries to fashion, electronics and other e-commerce items.

Currently, Shadowfax hosts more than 100,000 registered logistics partners in over 500 cities throughout India and supports the delivery of 10 million shipments of goods, according to the press release. With the investment, Shadowfax plans to increase the number of shipments made through its platform to more than 100 million a month across 1,000 Indian cities.

While Flipkart has an existing partnership with Shadowfax to fulfill logistics requirements across various categories in its e-commerce business, the new investment will support the e-commerce giant’s larger plans to place inventory closers to customers and improve operational efficiency across Indian businesses’ logistics networks. The move also supports Flipkart’s efforts to tap into hyperlocal Indian perishables business and bring offline kirana, or mom-and-pop grocery and fresh produce shops, online into the e-commerce market.

“We have seen strong synergies with Shadowfax through our existing engagement with them, and their investments in tech-enabled innovations will help us significantly reduce delivery time and provide superior customer experiences across product categories,” said Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy. “By leveraging kirana stores and the deep delivery capabilities of Shadowfax and other Flipkart-led innovations, we are building a strong foundation to make inroads into a dynamic hyperlocal consumer market.”

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