Interesting funding alert- A B2B e-commerce startup announced a funding of USD 500 million, thus becoming the sixth unicorn of the year 2022
A B2B e-commerce can be defined as the process of selling goods from one business to another business through online portals.
Let us talk about B2B e-commerce. As defined above, it is the process through which two businesses come into interaction with each other for buying and selling of goods and services. The medium of this type of interaction is the electronic mode, hence e-commerce. The aim of conducting business through e-commerce is the expansion and the increase of the customer base and the reduction of the serving cost, hence making sure that there is higher revenue to the business.
This type of business model is different from the B2C business model, where the goods and services are sold to the customers. In the B2B business model, the goods and services are sold from a manufacturer to a wholesaler, from a wholesaler to a retailer, and all this through online portals.
The B2B e-commerce industry according to the report by Facts and Factors, was of the value USD 7.35 trillion in the year 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.70 percent from the year 2021 to 2026. In our country, India, the value of the B2B e-commerce industry is around USD 500 billion and technology here is playing a very important and crucial role which is thus gaining the interest and the confidence of the potential investors. The Indian industry in this sector has a huge potential and capability to grow.
The major important and big players in the B2B e-commerce industry were Alibaba, Grofers, Quill, Upwork, ShopX, Udaan, Zomato, ElasticRun, Purplle, Captain Fresh, and many others. Now let us talk about what is a unicorn startup? A unicorn startup can be defined as a privately held entity the value of which is more than USD 1 billion. The term Unicorn Startup became popular in the year 2013 by Aileen Lee, who is a venture capitalist and a founder of Cowboy Ventures. The year 2021 saw many Indian startups converting into unicorns and we hope and wish that year 2022 proves itself to be luckier in these terms.
Let us now discuss the funding of a startup in this industry only which has taken place recently and is spreading wide and gaining the interests of the readers.
Announcement of funding of aB2B e-commerce startup
The startup, ElasticRun has raised funds worth USD 300 million. This announcement was made on February 07, 2022. This round of funding which we are discussing was led by SoftBank Vision Fund II. Some old investors of the startup were also a part of this round of funding. Such investors were Prosus Ventures, Chimera Investments of Abu Dhabi, Kalaari Capital, and Avatar Ventures. The new investor of this round of funding was Goldman Sachs.
Talking about further details of this round of funding, this also included a secondary share sale of around USD 32 million, thus the total size of this round of funding has come up to USD 332 million. Explaining what a secondary share is, it is when new investors buy shares from the existing investors and the money is not stored in a cupboard or a locker. SoftBank had invested USD 180 million in the company and is responsible for around 14% stake of the startup.
The value of the startup after this round of funding has increased to USD 1.5 billion, thus entering the Unicorn Club. The startup has thus become the sixth unicorn startup of the year 2022. The startup before this round of funding had raised USD 75 million in April 2021, when the value of the startup was more than USD 400 million.
Further details of how the startup plans to use the funds raised have not been disclosed yet. Before this startup, the other startups which have been converted into unicorns this year are Mamaearth, Fractal, Lead School, Darwinbox, and Dealshare.
About the B2B e-commerce startup that has announced its funding
The startup, ElasticRun was founded in the year 2016 by Sandeep Deshmukh, Shitiz Bansal, and Saurabh Nigam, and has its headquarters in Pune, Maharashtra. All three founders are past executives in Amazon. Sandeep Deshmukh is the CEO of the startup and is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate. Shitiz Bansal is the CTO of the startup and is an IIT BHU graduate. Saurabh Nigam is the COO of the startup and is a graduate of DCE.
The startup is a Kirana Commerce Platform. It allows businesses to reach small Kirana stores in the deep rural parts of India. The startup acts as an extended arm of FMCG companies’ direct distribution networks in the rural areas to provide a set of net new customers to the FMCG companies. It has its focus on helping eCommerce companies to reach customers in far-flung areas through its network of rural Kirana stores. It brings banks and financial institutions closer to a new set of underserviced SME customers from its rural Kirana network.
The startup achieves deep reach through its technology platform. This technology enables a “no CAPEX” and “variable cost” crowdsourced logistic network. The startup is now planning to build a technology platform for transactions, credit, and data analytics, through which it plans to become the de facto channel for Indian businesses to reach the rural markets which are underserviced.
If we talk about the previous rounds of funding of the startup, it is as follows-
In May 2016, the startup in its Seed Round of Funding raised USD 2 million.
In April 2017, the startup in its Series A round of funding raised USD 5 million
In August 2018, the startup in its Series B round of funding raised USD 8.5 million
In October 2019, the startup in its Series C round of funding raised USD 40 million
In April 2021, the startup in its Series D round of funding raised USD 75 million
The startup helps the FMCG brands get access to 10 million Kirana stores. The startup has its presence in around 28 states in more than 500 locations and some of the big brands it works with are Reliance Retail, Tata Consumer, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, ITC, Britannia, and many others.
The startup is engaged in bringing together Local and Global. We wish the startup a bit of good luck and hope it is able to achieve many more milestones in the future ahead!
Edited and published by Ashlyn Joy