Celcius, a SaaS-based cold chain aggregator platform, announced a financial partnership with Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) to fund cold supply chain vehicles and working capital financing. The two partners will provide light and heavy commercial vehicles to the cold chain industry as part of the agreement, which marks STFC’s foray into the cold supply chain segment.
In addition, the platform announced the launch of the Vahan Vikas Samriddhi initiative, which will provide financial assistance to ambitious regional transportation entrepreneurs.
According to Celcius, the programme will address the supply gap and empower aspiring entrepreneurs to start cold chain businesses to transport items like COVID-19 vaccines, perishable fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, and other pharmaceutical products across the country, including to remote locations.
Since May last year, the platform claims, it has empowered regional carriers through its Vahan Vikas Yojana.
For the past two years, the cold chain industry has had to work extra to compensate for the lack of assets and infrastructure. According to Swarup Bose, founder and CEO of Celcius, onboarding native entrepreneurs and assisting them in starting their cold chain journey will provide the industry with more assets to work.
“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.
Early last year, the startup secured seed funding from Mumbai Angels Network, as well as Huddle, Lumis Partners, Eaglewings Ventures Alliance Network (EVAN), MaGEHold, Keiretsu Forum, and other investors from Malaysia, Nigeria, and the United States.
“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 solution,” Shriram 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.