Fast growing fuel delivery tech attracts new capital
The global fuel delivery service is still nascent, but growing fast enough for the Indian fintech MyPetrolPump to lure $1.6 million in seed capital to expand its business.
The Bangalore, India-based car company launched in 2017 with the two co-founders pooling $150,000 of their own funds to build MyPetrolPump’s first two proprietary refueling truck. A seal of approval from Y Combinator helped it draw the $1.6 million, according to Tech Crunch, though it's unclear of the financing is from Y Combinator or other sources.
MyPetrolPump already has five refueling vehicles in its fleet serving approximately 2,000 customers. The company plans to use the funds to expand its services as demand is extremely high having already delivered 5 million liters of fuel since its inception.
MyPetrolPump is serving a small but expanding niche of delivery services focused on bringing fuel to directly to consumers and small businesses. Long overshadowed by food delivery startups such as Uber Eats and on-demand delivery service players such as Postmates, delivering fuel to a consumer’s vehicle is a convenience service that is growing in the U.S. and other markets. It is also relevant for businesses that operate fleet vehicles, especially when it involves delivery trucks and buildings that use on-site diesel fuel generators.
While convenience is a major factor driving demand in the U.S. and U.K., in markets such as India and Mexico there's also security benefits such as mitigating fuel skimming.
In the U.S. there are several startups that are serving the growing demand for fuel delivery and gaining attention from venture capital firms. Boosted Fuels recently completed a $56 million Series C funding round according to Crunchbase, a website that tracks funding in private startups, bringing its total funding to-date at over $88 million. Another U.S. competitor, FILLD, has received almost $28 million in venture capital.
The fuel delivery service industry has also attracted attention from major U.S. companies and celebrities. General Motors Ventures and ExxonMobil along with basketball superstar Kevin Durant participated in a $13.7 million in a Series A round for San Francisco fuel delivery firm Yoshi. Kevin Durant has other on-demand and delivery-oriented investments including Postmates and Lime (the operator of bike- and scooter-sharing services).
The fuel delivery opportunity has also begun to attract attention from companies such as the “on demand everything” service provider GoJek, Indonesia’s largest unicorn focused on ride-sharing services. GoJek has raised over $3 billion in funding according to Crunchbase from investors such as Mitsubishi Motors, Visa, Google, TenCent Holdings (owner of WeChat Pay) and JD.Com. Last October GoJek launched a fuel delivery service called Go Pertamina, which is a partnership with Indonesia's largest oil firm, Pertamina, according to Retail Asia News.
London-based fuel delivery startup Zebra Fuel has raised $9.6 million in funding to expand its services in the U.K., with the most recent round in November. Additionally, Russia’s car-sharing service Yandex.Drive acquired Moscow-based fuel delivery service provider Toplivo v. Bak (which means “fuel to the tank”) in August 2018.