Kashmir’s logistics start-up ‘FastBeetle’ raises $100K from investors

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Srinagar: FastBeetle Logistics Pvt. Ltd., a Srinagar-based tech start-up focused on last-mile logistics in the state of Jammu & Kashmiri has closed a Pre-Series A funding round of USD100k at a ~ USD 1 million valuation from angel investors including Sandeep Patel from Nepra, Saurabh Mittal – Entrepreneurship Evangelist in the Himalayan region, Vikram Sanghvi, Rohit Qamra, a few non-resident Kashmiris.

According to the company’s statement the existing investors Kartikeya Desai and Anuj Sharma also participated in the current round.

The company provides inbound and outbound full-stack logistics services across 50,000 pin codes in J-K and works with over 800+ micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs, of which 60% are run by women, helping drive entrepreneurship in the region and providing critical services in areas not serviced by larger companies.

 During the lockdown, it has been widely credited with helping keep crucial business lifelines open and has seen rapid growth over the last year through the pandemic, becoming akin to an essential service for more than 80,000 Kashmiri customers. 

It recently announced strategic tie-ups with Amazon and Flipkart to enable last mile logistics in several pin codes in Kashmir and will use the funding to strengthen the team and expand business operations to all districts including Jammu, as well as to the adjacent union territory of Ladakh.

“The funds shall help us in expanding our reach to even more remote parts of the region, while helping boost local economic growth and the income growth potential for the people by helping local entrepreneurs forge channels with the global market” said the founders.

The company has grown steadily after its selection last year at a special incubation program held in Srinagar by ALSiSAR Impact, a double bottom line impact incubator and transaction advisory firm, that has a special focus on frontier markets and the Himalyan region. “FastBeetle is a great example of the type of social enterprise that is much needed to spread the benefits of growth to underserved regions. ALSiSAR Impact is proud to have supported the founders from an early stage.”  said Anuj Sharma, Founder and CEO of ALSiSAR Impact.

Despite the growth in VC and impact investing in India over the last few years, non-metro regions and frontier markets especially in Himalayan region seldom receive early-stage investment and support. This is one of the first such investments in the region that is full of potential for both social and economic impact. It also signals to other capable entrepreneurs in the valley that it is possible to raise funds to build a scalable enterprise.

FastBeetle wants to champion local businesses across all of Jammu & Kashmir by empowering them with tech-based solutions and reliable end-to-end logistic needs. 

Locally referred to as ‘Beetles’ the start-up has demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult connectivity issues that have long plagued the business sector in the Valley  and become the catalyzing force for Kashmiri entrepreneurs with its last mile delivery and logistics services.

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