Logistics companies belong to one of the few categories which rode out the pandemic with strong growth during the fiscal year ending March 2021. Delhivery and Shadowfax reported 31% and 42% growth in FY21. And now Pune-based XpressBees has managed to grow its scale by over 32%, going past the Rs 1,000 crore revenue mark during the same period.
Seven-year-old logistics solutions company Xpressbees turned unicorn last month after raising $300 million in its Series F round led by Blackstone, becoming the eighth Indian startup to achieve this milestone in 2022.
XpressBees recently filed its annual statements for FY21 during which its revenue from operations stood at Rs 1,004.8 crore, registering a 32.7% growth as compared to Rs 757.2 crore earned during FY20.
The company offers a bouquet of supply chain solutions including B2B/B2C express delivery service, cross border logistics and warehousing services to huge e-commerce players including Snapdeal, Myntra, Meesho, Netmeds and Bigbasket.
The company claims to handle over 3 million shipments per day across its network in 2500 cities.
XpressBees came into the limelight in 2018 after it received backing from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba which helped forge business partnerships with other investee companies BigBasket and Paytm Mall.
Thanks to its fundraising, the Pune-based startup also earned a non-operating income of Rs 15 crore from its financial assets during FY21, registering a 200% surge as compared to Rs 3.3 crore earned from the same in FY20.
Moving on to the expense sheet, logistics and transportation costs stood out as the largest cost centre for XpressBees accounting for 74.7% of its annual expenditure. With the surge in order volume, these costs grew by 24.4% to Rs 810.7 crore during FY21 from Rs 651.7 crore spent in FY20.
Payments of employee benefits are the second-largest expense for the Investcorp backed company, making up 11% of its annual costs. These payments grew by 23.4% to Rs 119.7 crore during FY21 from Rs 97 crore paid out in FY20.
The supply chain ecosystem faced several challenges and had to adapt during countrywide COVID lockdowns in the last fiscal. This opened a window of opportunity for startups to provide third party full-stack logistics solutions to new D2C brands and marketplaces, operating fulfilment centres, last-mile delivery and cash collections of COD orders.
The company also grew its warehousing operations and rent & utility costs grew by 14.2% to Rs 65.3 crore during FY21 from Rs 57.2 crore spent in FY20. During the same period XpressBees’ expenditure on legal and professional fees ballooned by around 700% YoY to Rs 16 crore in FY21.
Server hosting charges of Rs 10.6 crore pushed the company’s annual costs to Rs 1,085.3 crore in FY21 from Rs 865 crore spent in total during FY20. Wheelseye spent Rs 1.08 to earn a single rupee of operating revenue during FY21, getting close enough to hope for a profitable 2022 possibly.
While the growth has tapered down from 40% in FY20 to 32.7% in FY21, the company has managed to improve its operating efficiencies during the last fiscal. Its EBITDA margins have improved by 620 BPS from -10.99% in FY20 to -4.79% in FY21.
The management at Xpressbees has cut down on burn and its cash outflow from operations was curtailed by 72.4% to Rs 28 crore in FY21 from Rs 101.5 crore in FY20. Annual losses have also been reduced by 36.2% from Rs 102.7 crore in FY20 to Rs 65.5 crore during FY21.
In FY 22, the combination of intense competition and volatile fuel prices will definitely challenge the company will be grappling with, like most of the other players, but with its experience and strong client base, it can be expected to weather it better than most.