How Vahak plans to drive a brighter future for Indian truck owners

How Vahak plans to drive a brighter future for Indian truck owners
How Vahak plans to drive a brighter future for Indian truck owners

India’s logistics system is broken, but Vahak thinks he can fix it, and the tech start-up today unveiled a $14 million Series A funding round that it hopes will help deliver on that promise.

India’s transport sector is worth $200bn, Vahak founders Karan Shaha and Vikas Chandrawat note, but it is struggling under the weight of antiquated systems and outdated technologies. When a factory owner, for example, wants to ship his products from A to B, he typically hires one of the millions of small and medium-sized companies in the transportation industry to handle the job; this SME must call dozens of truck owners and drivers (70% of trucks in India are owned by small owners who often drive as well) to find someone who can get the job done at a competitive price. The process takes days instead of hours.

Read More :   The Divorced Billionaire Heiress Chapter 540

Shaha saw this problem firsthand through the experience of family members in the manufacturing sector who were struggling to move their assets. So, in 2016, she teamed up with Chandrawat, an old friend from college, to launch a new transportation business. “We did this for two years, during which time we met with over 1,000 SMEs and truck owners,” recalls Shaha. “We had a very clear vision of the challenges they were facing, especially since we suffered from the same problems.”

That experience fueled the launch of Vahak in 2019. Instead of trying to kick things up a notch with another transportation business, the founders reasoned, why not focus on a technology-enabled solution? To that end, Vahak is a free-to-use online marketplace that connects transport SMEs with truck drivers and owners.

Read More :   SDN 2 Panggang Libraries Job Offers

The idea is that every time the SME receives an order from a customer that needs shipping, they post the details on the platform. Truckers instantly see what is needed and can post their availability, along with the price of the job. “We dramatically speed up the process of finding a driver,” explains Shaha. “The load is immediately transmitted to each driver on the platform: he is reaching more drivers, faster and getting competition to offer the best price.”

The proposal works well for both sides. SMEs can offer their customers, the shippers, a much more efficient and competitive price service. They can also use Vahak to build their credibility with customers, increasing trust in the brand by displaying their track record on the platform.

Read More :   (Last) Link Video Viral June The Spider Girl Complete On Twitter

As for truck owners and drivers, they gain access to more job opportunities and no longer have to pay commissions to middlemen who stand between them and SMEs. Shaha estimates that where some drivers previously only found work for 12-15 days in a given month, that increased to more than 25-26 once they moved to Vahak. “Our focus is all about empowering drivers to live better lives,” adds Shaha.

The idea seems to have caught the imagination of both transport SMEs and truck owners. So far, Vahak has registered 1.5 million users on both sides of the platform, and has now set a goal of reaching 10 million users in the next 12 months. That would represent a 10% share of the Indian logistics market.

Meanwhile, Shaha and Chandrawat also have to figure out how to make a profit from the business. The free-to-use business model is aimed at mass adoption, creating a network effect, Shaha says, with users getting more and more benefits from the platform. Over time, however, the founders see Vahak as a one-stop-shop for the logistics sector, offering services such as fuel, insurance, GPS technologies, and purchasing spare parts. These value-added services will allow the company to monetize and leverage technologies such as the app-based payment service that Vahak has already used.

Investors are buying that view. The $14 million Series A round announced today brings the total investment raised by the company since its launch to $20.3 million. This latest fundraiser is led by Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Foundamental, iSeed Ventures, Leo Capital, RTP Global and Titan Capital.

“Despite posting good growth, the Indian logistics market continues to face some challenges due to a lack of technology integration,” says Sameer Brij Verma, CEO of Nexus. “Platforms like Vahak are now sparking the digital transformation of this sector by providing technology-driven features and services to help millions of truckers and carriers in the country.”

Vahak says the funding will be used to double down on its customer acquisition strategy, accelerating user adoption of its platform. The company also plans further investment in its technology infrastructure as it develops additional value-added services.