Aureos, ePlanet Ventures invest $16m in Indian logistics

Continental Warehousing will use the capital to expand its port warehousing operations in Chennai and Tuticorin.

Emerging markets specialist Aureos and venture firm ePlanet Ventures have respectively invested $10 million and $6 million in Continental Warehousing, an Indian warehousing company.

Based in Mumbai, Continental Warehousing primarily operates container terminals at two of India’s biggest ports, Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Chennai Port. It also handles containers for Indian corporates. The company participates in nearly 70 percent of the country’s import and export traffic and recorded $45 million in revenues for the year ending this March, said Balaji Srinivas, a Bangalore-based Aureos managing partner, in an interview.

The capital will be used to scale up Continental Warehousing’s operations at Chennai Port and expand its operations to Tuticorin, a seaport along India’s Southeastern coast.

As infrastructure is a key focus for a growing economy such as India, companies providing infrastructure services such as Continental Warehousing will benefit from the interest and investment in the sector, Srinivas said.

Aureos’ investment was made through its Aureos India Fund, which closed on $100 million in June 2006. It marks the firm’s maiden investment in India’s logistics space. Aureos' previous four investments in India include pharmaceutical research company Accutest; vacuum service provider Hivac; telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ordyen; and pharmaceutical company Pareas. Currently, the fund has deployed 50 percent of its capital.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, ePlanet Ventures’ previous investments in India include movie rental service Karodpati; retail software products company Manthan Systems; and healthcare equipment company Trivitron Diagnostics.