Harry Stebbings’ 20 VC, Josh Buckley’s Buckley Ventures and Indus Valley Capital co-led the startup’s financing round.
This is 20 VC and Buckley Ventures’ second lead investment in Pakistan in recent weeks following an $85 million round in quick-commerce startup Airlift. Indus Valley Capital, which recently also backed business-to-business marketplace Bazaar, has invested in all three of the recent high-profile investments in the South Asian country.
Wavemaker Partners, Quiet Capital, TrueSight Ventures, Soma Capital, Flexport, Magnus Rausing’s UNTITLED and founders of Convoy and Bazaar also participated in the round.
BridgeLinx connects shippers — such as manufacturing companies, cement factories, textile companies — with truckers and private fleets.
It also provides its tech solutions to ensure documents validation on both ends, timely pickups, port operations and safety of cargo, said Gul, who previously worked at consultancy firm KPMG in Canada.
BridgeLinx has already onboarded thousands of carriers and is moving thousands of freight-loads each week for many large customers.
Pakistan’s trucking system has a big inefficiency problem that continues to drag the economy.
One of the biggest problems faced by truckers is that once they have made a delivery, they have no work left during the return journey. So a truck delivering something to Lahore from Islamabad is likely not carrying something on its way back to the nation’s capital. This decades-old inefficiency continues to cost every stakeholder.
BridgeLinx is attempting to make this system more efficient
BridgeLinx, like BlackBuck, currently operates on an asset-lite model — that is, it doesn’t own any vehicles. But Gul said there is benefit in replicating something from Rivigo, which owns its fleets. By having some trucks of its own, BridgeLinx will be able to ensure that vehicles on its platform are operating round the clock by having multiple drivers working in shifts.
“We will eventually have a hybrid of what BlackBuck and Rivigo offer,” said CEO Salman Gul.
The startup will deploy the fresh capital to expand to more verticals and broaden its tech offerings. It is also working on hiring more talent, he said.
“BridgeLinx has cracked the code for making end-to-end freight work in a hassle-free manner and therefore signed up some of the top businesses in Pakistan,” said Aatif Awan, managing partner at Indus Valley Capital, in a statement.
“We believe this team is well on its way to bringing unprecedented efficiencies to the country’s economy and are really excited to partner with them.”
The funding comes as the South Asian nation is seeing record investment in its startup industry with multiple venture capitalists investing for the first time. Pakistan’s startups have raised over $233 million, so far this year. That’s more than the previous six years combined, according to data from venture capital fund, Invest2Innovate.
BridgeLinx has added thousands of truck companies and offers lower fares through bidding between truckers for business and moving thousands of freight loads each week, said Gul.
“It’s a massive market and we have just scratched the surface,” he said. “Initially, we were pulling people on the platform, now they just want to jump on.”
BridgeLinx’s other investors include Wavemaker Partners LLC, Soma Capital Management LLC, Quiet Capital Management LP and TrueSight Ventures Ltd.