i-Loads, an online logistics platform of White Data Systems, in which Murugappa group
company Cholamandalam Investment and Finance holds the majority stake, is looking at expanding its business as an aggregator of financing solutions for truck
The company, which has a business plan to connect owners of commercial vehicles with customers, has 3,500 trucks and 100 customers, or load providers, in its portfolio. Cholamandalam Investment has invested Rs 8 crore in White Data Systems for a 63 per cent stake. “Transporters typically have 45-60 days’ credit from the time of submission of proof of delivery.
operator has to fill the gap from his working capital. Somebody has to fund him for toll, fuel and driver wages. We are launching a product called Trip Loan, to address this,” said Vellesh Narayanan, chief executive officer and managing director of White Data Systems.
Financial services firms offer such loans but lack of information is an impediment. White Data Systems aims to offer information on the creditworthiness of the load provider and the credentials of the truck
“Initially, Cholamandalam Investment is one of our partners for the funding
product. Down the road, we are creating a platform enabling other financiers and NBFCs to provide finance. We offer the platform and information,” Narayanan said. The investment of Cholamandalam Investment has also helped the startup access a network of 700 branches.
Narayanan said White Data Systems would seek the next round of funding
this year to invest in technology and scaling up. The amount of funds to be raised was not finalised yet, he said, refusing to divulge financial details about the company. Narayanan said White Data Systems funded 1,500-2,000 trips a month, and the number was doubling every month.
After demonetisation, several aspects of the road transport industry are expected to come into the formal economy. Already, the number of cash transactions has come down and digitisation is happening across the physical, financial and information flow. Human inefficiencies in terms of loading times and getting through tolls and check posts have been reduced.
White Data Systems is looking at expanding its network from seven offices to 200 in three years.