Alibaba has made an investment of $10 million (₹71.2 crore), in Indian logistics startup XpressBees. The Chinese giant is already an existing investor in the company and had invested in 2017 last.
For the record, this investment has been made by Alibaba.com Singapore E-commerce Pvt. Ltd by buying 9,317 compulsory convertible debentures, in the D1 Series, of Busybees Logistics Solutions, the parent company that owns XpressBees, at a premium of ₹76,409 a share. The shares are priced at ₹10 each.
Many may not be aware that XpressBees is part of FirstCry, a popular retailer in the baby care segment. It has been spun off as a separate unit from FirstCry and specialises in providing logistics services to e-commerce companies. FirstCry’s key investor, SoftBank had invested in XpressBees.
XpressBees counts among its rivals, startups like Delhivery and Ecomm Express. The expansion and growth of e-commerce in the country has allowed many companies to offer logistics and last mile delivery solutions, an important part of the e-commerce business. They use technology to drive their operations and their clients can get real-time tracking of their consignments. The services offered by XpressBees include payment collection and handling returns as well. E-commerce companies thrive on giving multiple payment options like COD, card payments etc. Returns are also part of the USP to engage their customers and to give them the comfort to shop online.
The other area the e-commerce companies use the logistics services is where they move their products to their large warehouses and key service points. These are different from the piecemeal deliveries made to individual customers and for the logistics firms these are bread and butter.
In terms of numbers, XpressBees has posted a revenue of ₹541 crore, up 100% from the previous year. At the same time, the losses too mounted to ₹119.7 crore, double the previous year. In the notes to its filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), the company has explained that it has had to incur costs on expansion and creating more capacity and infrastructure and these have led to increase in the losses.