Vahak wants to improve the lives of India’s truck drivers – TechCrunch

Vahak Not only is it an open marketplace for truckers, but it also offers drivers services like wellness and fuel card discounts. The Bangalore-based company announced today that it has raised $14 million in Series A. The round was led by Nexus Partners, with participation from Found Basic, iSeed Ventures, Leo Capital, RTP Global and Capital Capital.

This brings the total amount raised by Vahak to date to $20.3 million since it was founded in 2020 by Karan Shaha and Vikas Chandrawat. The two met while studying mechanical engineering at IIT Kanpur. Shaha says that they decided to find Vahak because of problems he met one of his relatives, who owned a factory, to solve.

“The problem is related to the booking of the truck,” said Shaha. “The infrequent freight movements, lack of communication channels, distrust and lack of visibility are evident. When we dug deeper, we understood that it was a huge issue across the country that needed immediate improvement.”

Vahak originally provided transportation in Raipur, Shaha’s hometown. After more than two years of operation, “we understand the problems a carrier faces every day,” he said. “Irregular income, frantic working hours, lack of proper health care, to name a few.” As a result, Vahak switched to a pure tech model in 2019 and launched the following year.

Vahak connects people with goods to be shipped with truckers and enables payments through the app. The company says that Vahak Payments prevents fraud by securing transactions, allowing drivers to get paid faster and allowing for quick refunds if needed.

The company’s goal is to scale its operations to 10% of India’s logistics market and grow from its current 1.5 million users to 10 million within a year.

Shaha says the Indian shipping industry is “disorganized and fragmented”, despite being worth $200 billion. About 70% of trucks are owned by one person, who is also the truck driver. To secure a reservation, they often rely on phone calls.

“This creates vaults where a personal network is the only way to know someone’s reliability,” said Shaha, adding that truck owners often lose their money. ​two to three days to find their next order. Shaha says that truckers who join the platform can be active 25 to 26 days a month, instead of 12 to 15 days, because bookings happen faster.

Vahak’s app also offers a driver’s doctor consultation through the telecom company Medibuddy, health and vehicle information, and a fuel card that can be used to buy gas at a discount. These features are added because India’s trucking industry “lacks an efficient ecosystem to support the lives of truckers and small car owners,” said Shaha.

The company is currently in the pre-revenue stage, but Shaha said in the future it will monetize through value-added services, such as escrow, insurance, fuel, GPS, and direct commissions across platforms. transaction.

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