Celcius: Our Thesis

Building India’s largest online Cold Chain Logistics marketplace

Celcius is an online aggregator for cold chain logistics offering a SaaS-based Web & App platform that allows Shippers to connect with Reefer transporters, and also book cold storage space across India. Owing to the significantly unorganized & untapped nature of the Indian (cold) supply-chain space, Celcius is working to bring better transparency, efficiency in moving the offline cold chain logistics operations online. Celcius currently operates a platform that provides comprehensive proprietary tech solutions, namely — SaaS Marketplace, Transport Management Solutions (TMS), Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS), Vehicle Tracking Systems (VTS), Last Mile + Part Load (PTL), etc.

Our Stance

At Huddle we have always been highly optimistic towards innovation in the supply-chain & logistics space. Cold Chain logistics hasn’t been sufficiently penetrated with innovation bringing efficiencies to scale, giving Celcius a large market to cater to. We have been working closely with the team and they have shown strong executional capabilities and continued to achieve steady growth across all spectrums of the business. We believe that Celcius will continue to scale, and with their current pace eventually become a key player in propagating the growth of the cold chain industry across India.

Nature of the Target Market

According to a report by JLL India, the national cold chain sector is a $20B industry expected to grow at 20% CAGR by 2025 due to its transformation from conventional cold storage to modern storage space. Cold chain refers to the transportation and warehousing of temperature-sensitive products from the point of origin to the point of consumption, which increases shelf life and prevents spoilage. Despite the post-pandemic economic impediments, the organized cold chain segment has witnessed a significant growth on a pan-India footprint.

As per industry reports — Cold storage in India contributes 43.7% of the total revenue from the cold chain industry and only 36% have a capacity below 1,000 MT. Going forward, we believe that Automation in the cold logistics sector will only become more pronounced, and we will witness innovation in the multimodal & cold supply chain as catalysts for new segments of demand. Proximity to population centers, population growth, changing consumer preferences & consumer spending habits will serve as the primary drivers for expansion of cold chains.

Early-mover solving a large problem

Cold Chain Logistics is an under-penetrated domain in a largely fragmented & under-utilized logistics market, primarily connected by brokers across the country with poor quality assurance. While production of perishables has increased consistently since 2017, the cold chain sector potential remains untapped due to the high share of single commodity storage and soaring investment for land & refrigeration units — Celcius is changing this by aggregating demand spread in silos and connecting them with the fragmented transporters while adapting technology to assure quality standards.

With the emergence of higher consumer demand for quality/preserved products, the principal issues plaguing the cold chain sector include — fragmented network structures, temperature management, wastage & spoilage, lack of specialized skills, etc.

Key pain points faced by Shippers (i.e. manufacturers) in the current value chain, are:

  • Unavailability of Reefer vehicles at the right time
  • No GPS monitoring leading to uncertain delivery time
  • No Thermal tracking to ensure that temperature is maintained throughout the transit
  • Manual inefficiency and time lost due to coordinating with multiple transporters
  • Lack of resources to follow up on timely payments

Why Huddle Invested in Celcius

At Huddle, we believe that one of the most crucial cornerstones of any successful enterprise is the team behind the wheel. In the case of Celcius — The founding team has sizable  industry experience in the target market, cumulatively accounting for decades of refined acumen & experience.

Although there are other players offering cold-chain logistics, Celcius remains the only full stack platform operating as an aggregator marketplace for Cold Chain in India — they’ve developed a robust technology platform providing transparency and convenience to all ends of the spectrum, i.e. Shippers, Transporters and Cold Storages.

Celcius has also launched Vahan Vikas Yojana (VVY), aimed at increasing the number of transporters who hail from Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities, by offering them the latest in technologies, giving them access to their platform & enabling them to do business across India. The Vahan Vikas Yojana would enable smaller Transporter & warehouse owners to engage with large corporations, help existing asset owners increase ROI, and create new asset owners from smaller cities.

Additionally, Celcius provides India’s first Part Load Multi-temperature Reefer trucks. It enables brands to do part-load instead of full truck load – thus bringing cost efficiencies and expanding the markets they serve. Each compartment is monitored individually on the platform ensuring compliance.

Their focus on long haul business catering to organized sectors such as FMCG, dairy, pharmaceutical companies offers more revenue stability with higher asset utilization prediction. Celcius has registered 125+ shippers, 256+ transporters, 87+ cold storages across different sectors, covering 93+ cities in India. The platform has demonstrated immense revenue growth in the past 6 months, and has entered into partnerships with the likes of Godrej Agrovet & Vadilal, alongside a tie-up with NBFC heavyweight Shriram Transport Finance company (STFC) to offer commercial financial services.

Pre-Seed + Seed Investments

RocketFuel x Huddle

Recent developments such as the SEBI Circular surrounding revamped ESG and Sustainability reporting are a welcome addition, encouraging large-scale enterprises to adopt tech solutions that aid in carbon reduction, ESG compliance, and Climate Education.
Carbon (Dioxide) is one of the building blocks of all organisms on Earth, such that it allows Earth to hold it’s energy. Carbon Sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change.   There has been growth in startups working on carbon capture/tech sequestration that capture CO2/ GHGs and utilize them to create value-added products and/ or sell offsets on exchanges.
Given the large depth in climate finance required, emerging forms of climate finance will be important for us to consider. For example, Refi (Regenerative Finance) is a movement focusing on the power of blockchain and web3 to address climate change, support conservation and biodiversity, and create a more equitable and sustainable financial system.
Energy storage and management for mobility & transport use cases have observed strong investor traction historically, and we believe this trend will continue in the next 3-5 years. This includes Electric vehicles as a category.

Agriculture has vast potential with respect to climate change. Building agri-food supply chain efficiencies will be very important to reduce post-harvest food losses. Hence, solutions that use technology to reduce food losses from farm-to-folk or provide cold-chain infra would be relevant to consider. 

 

Additionally, precision agriculture will be crucial to increasing farm yields, but the sector is vast ranging from farm advisory to Agri inputs to IoTs and deep tech hardware solutions. Hence, we will opportunistically look at this theme to scout good startups.