We are unique in that we are a B2B2C platform with a distinct proposition for both Merchants/Service Providers (B2B) and for consumers (B2C).
Brief us about your business model. How did you get the ideas of this business?
We are a B2B2C Product & Services Platform- enable local merchants to compete effectively by providing them with digital tools, working capital & Sales leads and provide consumers a value discovery platform through dynamic price comparison & a collective, hyperlocal reverse auction functionality . This helps foster vibrant local communities and commerce. The small, independent merchants who are the backbone of the local community have always lacked the means or support to compete and the COVID pandemic exacerbated their plight despite them rescuing millions of people who had been trapped for months and ensuring that essential goods were available. These merchants lack large pools of cheap capital, scale to get the best terms from companies, or cutting-edge technology, but they more than make up for it with their long-standing devotion to helping their local communities in good times and bad. They are threatened with extinction, and it is our collective social responsibility to maintain their long-term survival and this is what charges us with our mission of fostering sustainable and equitable commerce by supporting independent merchants across emerging markets in Asia and LATAM”…. we are charged with this mission/Noble cause.
How are you different from the existing competitors?
We are unique in that we are a B2B2C platform with a distinct proposition for both Merchants/Service Providers (B2B) and for consumers (B2C). For Merchants we provide cost effective and efficient solutions to take their business online and retain/attract their local customer base and for consumers we provide a platform wherein they can do their bit to promote local businesses by providing an omnichannel shopping experience whilst giving them the best deals through a very unique Reverse Auction Module.
What is the funding status and monetization model?
We have so far raised pre-Series A Seed funding of $850,000 which has been used to build up the tech stack and execute Pilots in India and LATAM and are in discussions for a $2-3 million fundraise and are confident of closing that by October 2021.
What challenges are you facing in running your business?
Our starting B2B customer segment is the Kirana stores and given the hyper competition in this space the biggest challenge remains breaking through the noise and establishing a share of mind without the heavy spending on advertising & marketing. We are overcoming this by being focussed in a few geographies and building an engaged set of customers i.e. focus not on quantity of customers but quality and on metrics like number of transactions, value of transactions rather than just on acquired customers or downloaded apps.
How do you look at expansion?
For the Moment we are in 2 countries (India and Colombia ) and within these markets in Delhi & Bogota and the plan is to roll out in more cities within India and Colombia till H2 2022 and then look at other markets in LATAM.
What are your marketing plans?
Going forward our marketing plans will be Digital led with emphasis on Influencer marketing, alliances and partnerships, referral & loyalty programs with the objective of building stickiness, repeat and loyalty.
What has been the biggest learning so far?
Given the geographical spread and the hyper competitive Kirana environment our biggest learning (at the startup phase) has been to focus ( Aim Narrow and Shoot wide) and build a cohort of early adopters with a high & repetitive use case.
What is the market size and opportunity?
The Broader market size of the Local, unorganised, independent Grocery Retail segment (aka GT Segment) is approximately $700 Billion with Modern Trade and E-commerce expected to account for 10% of this market. The opportunity we are targeting is from the 90% of the non-MT/Ecommerce segment ( i.e. helping Kirana’s withstand the online competition and taking their stores online). For our specific B2B2C proposition we estimate the TAM to be in the region of $10 billion.
How did you manage your services during lockdown?
We have commenced test marketing in India only post the 2nd wave in July 2021.
Source: Business World