Delhivery Success Story: Indian E-Delivery Unicorn’s Journey

Sahil Barua’s Success Story: The Journey of the $4B Start-up

By Ella Williams Apr 14 2021 11:28AM 3599 Read
Sahil Barua’s Success Story: The Journey of the $4B Start-up

Delhivery made headlines when it became a unicorn in 2019 after the Series F funding round and secured $413 million, making it worth $1.5 billion that time. The startup was started in Gurgaon by two friends, Sahil Barua & Suraj Saharan, in 2011 as a restaurant delivery start-up.

The start-up was started as a hyper-local restaurant food delivering business but later turned to provide logistics solutions to the whole country. Let us start by reading how the idea came into Sahil’s mind.

Delhivery – How it Started?

The idea came when Suraj & Sahil ordered a meal from a restaurant and went on to have a long conversation with the delivery boy. The duo further went to meet the resto owner and understood the problems encountered by similar food businesses.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the restaurant was anyways shutting down its operations and wanted to shift its employees to somewhere else. The duo hired them all and started the delivery business for restaurants initially. The USP of the business was “Delivery within an hour” and soon the medicine retailers kicked them in for delivery.

Delhivery Founders

Delhivery was started by two engineers, namely Sahil Barua & Suraj Saharan, who founded the business back in 2011 but was joined later by Mohit Tandon, Bhavesh Manglani, and Kapil Bharati. Here are further details about each founder:

  • Sahil Barua: Sahil is an IIM-B graduate and before starting the billion-dollar start-up, he was working at Bain & Company with his other partner at the firm, Mohit Tandon, an Indian Institute of Technology - Kanpur graduate.
  • Bhavesh Manglani: Bhavesh Manglani is the Chief operating officer (COO) of the start-up and is also a B.Tech graduate from Dhirubhai Ambani College– I.C.T. He completed his MBA from IIM Calcutta in 2008.
  • Suraj Saharan: Another Delhivery co-founder, Suraj Saharan, is an Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay graduate in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Mohit Tandon: Mohit was the office mate of Sahil & Suraj in Bain & Company and is an IIT-Kanpur graduate.
  • Kapil Bharati: Last who joined the engineers' group as cofounder was Kapil Bharati, who is an IIT Delhi graduate as a Mechanical Engineer.
Delhivery Financial Figures

In the financial year 2020, the Delhivery reported a turnover of Rs. 2800 crore and is working to take the number to Rs. 7000 crore before 2023. The company’s operation reports that it delivers more than 15 lakh orders per day in over 2300 cities & towns, covering more than 17,500 pin codes.

The firm is building one of the largest country’s truck terminals at Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, & Bangalore. Delhivery possesses a network of more than 5000 trucks and 7000 drivers and currently has a total workforce of more than 15,000 employees as their account keepers, customer executives, and delivery men.

Delhivery is all set to infuse Rs. 300 crore in the business over the next 24 months to enhance its operations and make delivery efficient.

Delhivery Funding

To this date, Delhivery has raised more than $934.5 million in funding over a series of nine rounds of which the latest one was in September 2019 from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), thus, witnessing its Secondary Market round.

Here is the full chart to Delhivery funding in each round:

Date Stage Investors Amount
April 2012 Series A Times Internet Limited $1.5 million
September 2013 Series B Nexus Venture Partners $5 million
September 2014 Series C Multiples Alternate Asset Management Private Limited $35 million
April 2015 Series D Tiger Global Management $85 million
March 2017 Series E Carlyle Group, Tiger Global, Fosun $100 million
May 2017 Series E Fosun International $30 million
March 2019 Series F SoftBank Vision Fund, Carlyle Group, Fosun International $413 million
June 2019 Secondary Market Canada Pension Plan Investment Board $150 million
September 2019 Secondary Market Canada Pension Plan Investment Board $115 million
Delhivery Competitors

Delhivery is not the only major logistics company in India. The company indeed holds an advantage over other players in terms of capital & funding but others are also not far away. Two major counter players in the market are Rivigo & Blackbuck, while other significant ones are Flexport, Ecom Express, Xpressbees, FSC, DotZot, Delex, etc. Here are some details about Delhivery competitors:

  • Rivigo: Rivigo is a technology-based company, which recognizes itself as a technology company than a logistics company. Their main USP is the rear-based truck system and calls their drivers, 'Pilots'.
  • Blackbuck: Blackbuck is a technology-based company that offers an online market for online transactions and provides third-party logistics services to other businesses. It is also known as the Zinka logistics solution, and in his final funding round, the company collected around $150 million. Not yet unicorn, but certainly has his eyes set at that target.
Final Words

So, this was the success story of Delhivery, one of the highest valued start-ups of India. It is inspirational to see how the business started as a hyperlocal delivery business but went on to become a unicorn. Next on our start-up story is Zerodha's success story here.

Ella Williams
Ella Williams View More Posts

I am currently the PR and Branding Director of a Chinese finance club and the Assistant Coordinator of Our Own College, Dubai, and Students’ Committee. I am currently a final year student, pursuing a degree in marketing.

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