Bzaar, a global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce marketplace, has raised $4 million (Rs 30 crore) in its seed funding round led by Canaan Partners, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Angel investors Binny Bansal, co-founder, Flipkart, Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, co-founders of PhonePe, Lee Fixel, founder of Addition, and Ashish Gupta managing director and co-founder of Helion Ventures also participated in the funding round, the company said in the statement.
The company, operated by Overleap Networks Pvt Ltd, will use the funds to acquire more verified, export-ready manufacturers for its platform, and to strengthen its India operations, it added.
Co-founded by Nishant Verman and Prasanth Nair earlier this year, Bzaar is a digital global wholesale marketplace enabling small retailers across the world to buy unique, high-quality, well-curated products from India and Southeast Asia. The startup enables small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in India and Southeast Asia to connect directly with buyers across the world to boost international commerce through its technology platform.
Before co-founding Bzaar, Verman was the head of corporate development at Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart. Nair previously led engineering and product teams at Amazon and Flipkart, and subsequently built Alibaba’s B2C (business-to-consumer) cross-border platform Lazada in Singapore.
Bzaar claims to feature over 15,000 products across more than 50 verticals including lifestyle, home, accessories, apparel, and jewelry from value-based brands and sellers in India. Retailers in more than 100 countries can buy all these products directly online at competitive prices, Bzaar said. Bzaar handles the entire process, including logistics and shipping, in a bid to ensure on-time, as-promised delivery right to the doorstep, it added.
“The pandemic has accelerated the need for supply-chain diversification and triggered a massive surge in businesses looking to expand internationally,” said Verman, Co-Founder and CEO, Bzaar.
Bzaar said that while historically, larger retail chains set up on-ground sourcing teams or work with buying houses to source in volume, SMBs struggle due to lack of access to such infrastructure. Bzaar digitally enables every small and medium business to have the same advantages as large ones for international sourcing, it said.
“Currently, if you’re a small business in India looking to start or accelerate your exports business, the infrastructure is largely offline and opaque or mostly non-existent. Bzaar democratizes exporting from India and Southeast Asia so that the region’s in-demand products are accessible at a global scale,” said Verman.
The company said that it is imperative for every business to have equal access to the vast sourcing opportunities that the global supply chain offers whether it is the selection of products, prices, shipping time, or payment terms, regardless of size or location. Bzaar claims that the number of sellers using its platform has increased 20 times over the last six months.
“Today, the US is already the largest export market for Indian goods, representing 17% of total goods exports. Yet no online platforms have really existed for US-based SMBs to discover trusted suppliers, purchase large quantities, and manage the entire buying process. That’s exactly why Bzaar exists and why we’re excited to lead their seed round,” said Joydeep Bhattacharyya, general partner, Canaan Partners.
Canaan Partners had recently invested in Mindtickle, a firm that helps companies with their sales pitch, with others, taking Mindtickle’s valuation to over $1 billion.