- Russian delivery service Borzo, formerly called Dostavista, has raised a $35 million Series C.
- Borzo runs same-day courier services in primarily emerging markets such as Russia, India, and Brazil.
- We got hold of the pitch deck it used to raise from the UAE and Russian sovereign wealth funds.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The pandemic has heralded a flood of superfast delivery startups, with customers able to pick from a range of apps that deliver groceries in 10 minutes.
Amid this delivery boom, Russian same-day delivery service Borzo, previously named Dostavista, has netted $35 million in Series C funding, mostly led by sovereign wealth funds.
Borzo says its differentiator from household delivery names like DoorDash and Grubhub is that it’s “laser-focused” on serving businesses rather than consumers.
The startup says it has purpose-built features for small- and medium-sized enterprises, which can courier out anything from clothing and auto parts to flowers and cake. The company promises same-day delivery for parcels of any weight or size via any intercity route.
Customers place a job on the company’s app or website and its algorithms work out which courier should pick it up and the most efficient route they should take based on location and transport. Couriers who are part of its “logistics marketplace” can use any mode of transport to complete the delivery – including a public bus if it’s quicker.
This is more complex than the likes of ride hailing, the founder said, as couriers often deliver multiple packages to multiple locations as part of the same job, and may have additional pickups.
The round was led by Mubadala Capital, the investment arm of UAE-based sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment, with participation from Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF, and existing investors VNV Global, backers of food delivery app HungryPanda.
It brings the company’s total raised to $59 million.
Borzo operates in 100 cities within ten countries, including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.
CEO Mike Alexandrovski said Southeast Asia was the company’s most profitable market and that there are no immediate plans to enter into Europe, despite the company moving its headquarters from Moscow to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
Hitting the European or US market would be challenging, he said, as the delivery sector is “optimal and efficient” so Borzo could not offer competitive pricing.
“Sometimes they have technological leaps,” he added. “Traditional next-day delivery isn’t good enough as there are not enough investments in infrastructure, no big warehouses, or the companies with fleets. Same-day delivery is much easier to adopt in those countries.”
Small businesses using Borzo can save time and money by not doing deliveries themselves or needing a tool to “remember the order tomorrow,” Alexandrovski said.
The cash injection will be used to continue scaling, including plans to bulk out Borzo’s 1,000-strong workforce by 200, with most new hires being software engineers and product managers.
While its main focus is SMEs in e-commerce, Alexandrovski said it is going “more and more upmarket” and hopes to target larger enterprises.
See the pitch deck it used to secure its latest round of funding below: