Udaan, Three years ago, in India, an e-commerce platform raised companies half a billion dollars in a new round of financing as it looked to bring more Kirana (neighborhood stores), chemists and other small businesses online through the market.
The startup said today it raised $ 585 million in a round of D series from Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse and GGV Capital City Ventures. Current investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, who wrote its first start-up check in 2016, also DST Global invested in the tour.
This new round – the largest in any B2B e-commerce platform in India – has reported startup value between $ 2.3 billion and $ 2.7 billion, said someone familiar with TechCrunch. Udaan founders, who reached unicorn’s position in the shortest period of time among Indian startups, declined to comment on the evaluation.
Udaan manages a named B2B marketplace that connects smaller retailers with wholesalers and dealers. The platform supports a wide range of categories from lifestyle, electronics, home and kitchen, food and toys, and even fruits and vegetables.
Udaan also offers a credit line to provide working capital for buyers and sellers on its platform, thus tackling one of the biggest challenges facing small and micro companies and merchants in the country, said Vaibhav Gupta, one of Udaan’s founders, in an interview with TechCrunch. He said that the loans granted to buyers and sellers are funded by Audan and other non-bank partners.
The startup has collected more than 3 million retailers and more than 25,000 vendors from 900 cities and towns in India. Startup processing five million requests in August.
Today, a wide range of merchants, including farmers, store owners, restaurants, chemists, and peddlers, are connected to Udaan. The startup has set up a supply chain network across the country to meet more than half of the orders for its platform.
Sujit Kumar, one of the founders of Udaan, said that the startup will use the new capital to expand the supply chain network in the country and focus on market development in both existing and new categories. The startup will also look to expand UdaanCapital, its credit line.
Although over half a billion people in India are online today, most companies in the country are still offline. But a growing group of startups in the country are starting to help traders take advantage of the technology.
Amazon Wal-Mart has invested billions of dollars to create commercial markets for commerce in India, but e-commerce still accounts for only 3% of the country’s total retail market.
Their strongest rivals are still mothers and pop stores spread across tens of thousands of villages, cities, towns and slums in India. In recent years, many Silicon Valley companies have started processing these companies. The Google She launched tools to help these moms and pop stores set up their online presence, and last month, she launched a Google Pay commercial app to help these merchants accept online payments.
This is the opportunity that prompted Vaibhav, Sujeet and Amod Malviya – the third founding partner – to leave their jobs on Flipkart’s e-commerce platform and build a platform to serve small businesses in the country.
Bejul Somaia said, “The market opportunity has become much deeper than we anticipated when Lightspeed led Group A financing from the company in 2016 and we are excited to continue supporting the company while welcoming a strong union of new investors.” At Lightspeed Venture Partners .
In a statement, Martin Lau, President of Tencent, said, “Udaan’s unique approach can leverage the capabilities of millions of retail stores across India. It is a powerful example of how technology enables small business businesses, improves industry efficiency and benefits for consumers.”
With the expansion of Udaan’s business, Gupta said, the startup will explore ways to generate more revenue. “We barely scratched the surface, so our focus was largely to bring more companies to the platform and build products and services to meet their needs. However, income generation is something we look forward to as our business grows. We take calculated measures to generate revenue from our mature business side.” .
Udaan, which in recent quarters has introduced features like government-backed UPI payments and an easy tax billing tool, expects to record around $ 2 billion in this year’s GMV.