(L-R) udaan Co-founders Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta and Sujeet kumar

Story of udaan – Redefining India’s Commerce Infrastructure

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When it comes to buying and selling of goods in India, many of the small retailers do not have proper access to technology. The intermediaries or middlemen use this to their advantage and often treat these retailers unfairly on price and on quality, too. Sellers are getting paid less and buyers end up paying higher due to lack of access to markets, poor logistics infrastructure, and mainly, due to lack of transparency. udaan is solving this challenge in the B2B space by making technology the game-changer.

Bengaluru-based startup udaan is India’s largest horizontal B2B e-commerce platform designed for small, medium, and large businesses. Their platform acts as a marketplace for business and focuses on solving core trading problems for a wide range of products.

The beta version of udaan was launched in late 2016 by Sujeet Kumar, former President of Operations at Flipkart, Amod Malviya, former CTO of Flipkart and Vaibhav Gupta, former Senior VP at Flipkart. The trio saw that retail was the pulse of India’s economy but was a highly inefficient segment despite the size of the industry.

Their idea was to enable B2B transactions by bringing together all participants, including the wholesaler, distributor, producer, and the small retail shop owner, onto a single platform, such as a smartphone app. That idea is now a reality, and udaan is using technology to solve the problems of millions of small businesses across India.

Focusing on specifically the small and medium businesses in India, udaan brings traders, wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers on to a single platform. With real insights into active trends, and great B2B features, the platform brings to them the power of technology to scale and nurture their business.

The startup operates across categories including lifestyle, electronics, home and kitchen, staples, fruits and vegetables, FMCG, toys, and general merchandise. Their platform enables small manufacturers, farmers, mills, and brands to market and sell their products across the country with 100% payment security and complete transparency. While doing so, it also enables small businesses such as shopkeepers, kirana, restaurants, street vendors, chemists, offices, small factories, contractors, etc. to source from a large selection of products at the best prices from all over the country through the udaan App.

udaan has over 3 million users, 1.7 million retailers and 30,000 sellers on its platform across the country. The platform enables supply chain and logistics operations, which is based on sound technology, for daily delivery across 900 cities+ and 12,000 pin codes through udaanExpress. Udaan Capital, the Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) arm focused on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) financing services, provides financial products for sellers and buyers to grow their business.

The easy-to-use udaan app gives you the power to:

  • Discover customers, suppliers and products across numerous categories
  • Buy and sell on your terms – secure payments and smooth logistics
  • Grow your network through repeats and relationships with like-minded parties

Through making use of udaan’s intuitive features – MyBiz, Feed, Share – you can grow your presence, create interest in your brand, and set the stage for growth.

In June 2017, the company did a wider launch. In September 2018, the startup achieved unicorn status. The company is now valued at more than $3 Billion. udaan witnessed a 5X surge in demand for items like protective masks, face shields and PPE suits, and nearly 15 million such items were sold via the platform during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

udaan raised $50 million in Series B funding in 2018 led by investor Lightspeed Ventures with participation by Russian tech investor Yuri Milner. The company has invested more than Rs 4,000 crore in the past 12-18 months across different pillars of business – technology, supply chain, category, credit, people, compliance etc. – to accelerate and strengthen capabilities.

“In 10 years, if we can run 10% of trade in India, then you have created something powerful. This can really impact the economy and society of the country.”

– Vaibhav Gupta, Co-founder

As per Forrester Research, in 2020, India’s retail sector was estimated at US$ 883 billion, with grocery retail accounting for US$ 608 billion. The market is projected to reach US$ 1.3 trillion by 2024. udaan is well on track to become India’s largest commerce platform, not just the biggest ecommerce platform.

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