Celcius inks pact with Shriram Transport Fin

Mumbai, Jan 31 (PTI) SaaS-based cold chain aggregator platform Celcius on Monday announced a financial tie-up with Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) to fund vehicles and working capital financing for the cold supply chain market.

Under the collaboration, which marks STFC's entry into the cold supply chain segment, the two partners will provide light and heavy commercial vehicles to the cold chain industry.

Besides, the platform also announced the launch of the Vahan Vikas Samriddhi programme, which will financially support aspiring regional entrepreneurs in the transportation sector.

The programme will address the supply gap and empower aspiring entrepreneurs to establish operations in the cold chain sector to transport items such as COVID-19 vaccines, perishable fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and other pharmaceutical products across the country, including remote locations, Celcius said in a statement.

The platform said it has already been empowering regional transporters with its Vahan Vikas Yojana since May last year.

The cold chain industry has had to accommodate for the lack of assets and infrastructure by working overtime for the last two years. Onboarding native entrepreneurs and helping them start their cold chain journey will give the industry more assets to work with, said Swarup Bose, founder and CEO, Celcius.

STFC's expertise in the organised finance sector will help fund upcoming cold chain transporters, enabling them to kick-start their business. On the other hand, Celcius will provide them with their own- FDA-compliant cold chain fleet and increase the visibility of their business through the platform, he said.

The startup had early last year received seed round funding from Mumbai Angels Network, along with Huddle, Lumis Partners, Eaglewings Ventures Alliance Network (EVAN), Venture Capital & Private Equity firms MaGEHold, Keiretsu Forum, besides other investors from Malaysia, Nigeria and the US.

Our tie-up with Celcius will help us collaboratively improve the cold chain logistics sector. Efficiency is at the core of everything we do, and this joint effort will aid us with streamlining vehicle financing, fuel financing and bill discounting solutions, Sriram Transport Finance Corporation said in the statement.

Vahan Vikas Samriddhi will be an extension of Vahan Vikas Yojana. Businesses can enrol by registering on our platform and uploading their KYC credentials. From there on, STFC will assist them with funds while Celcius will streamline the process of securing RTO registered vehicles as per their requirements. We wanted to ensure that the registration process is as convenient as possible, Bose said.