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Facebook co-founder’s VC firm, others back B2B startup Bizongo in $22 mn round
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Bizongo, a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for packaging materials, has raised $22 million (Rs 146.7 crore) in a Series B round of funding from B Capital and International Finance Corporation (IFC) as well as existing investors Accel Partners and IDG Ventures.

B Capital is the venture capital firm floated by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin while IFC is the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank.

IFC is investing $4.99 million in the company, it said in a disclosure.

Mumbai-based Bizongo, which is owned and operated by Smartpaddle Technology Pvt. Ltd, said in a statement that it will use the fresh capital primarily to advance its technological platform and design functions.

"The packaging market is a large $40 billion opportunity and fragmented market in India that is growing rapidly driven by retail expansion and e-commerce," Kabir Narang, partner and co-lead for Asia investments at B Capital, told VCCircle. "We think one of the ways to benefit from the rapid growth in e-commerce and organized retail is to back the enablers across payments, logistics and now packaging."

Bizongo operates as a B2B technology platform providing one-stop-shop packaging solutions to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies. The company curates, on-boards and provides access to SME packaging material manufacturers across India.

Founded in 2015 by Aniket Deb along with Ankit Tomar and Sachin Agrawal, all Indian Institute of Technology alumni, the startup currently deals in products such as boxes, containers, pouches and bags, targeting industries such as food & hospitality, FMCG, retail & wholesale and e-commerce.

Bizongo claims to have more than 2,500 registered small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Its clients include Myntra, Tata Cliq and FirstCry.

The company has warehouses in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi.

In November 2016, Bizongo had raised $3 million (around Rs 20 crore) in Series A round of funding from IDG Ventures and existing investor Accel Partners.

A year before that, Accel had invested an undisclosed amount in Bizongo in a seed funding round.

Investors

Global venture capital firm B Capital Group was co-founded in 2015 by Saverin and Silicon Valley-based Indian-origin investor Raj Ganguly.

In February, B Capital Group closed its maiden fund, B Capital Fund LP, at $360 million (Rs 2,318.5 crore).

The firm invests in healthcare, financial services and insurance, industrial and consumer enablement companies in the US, India, China, Israel and Southeast Asia.

Last December, B Capital invested in Mswipe Technologies Pvt. Ltd as part of the Mumbai-based mobile point-of-sale services provider’s Series D round.

The other new investor, IFC, had said in a disclosure in early February that it proposed to invest up to $5 million (around Rs 32 crore) in Bizongo and that its board would take a call in March.

IFC has made other investments in the B2B e-commerce space in India as well.

Last July, Noida-based MOGLILABS Pvt. Ltd, which operates online B2B industrial goods marketplace Moglix, raised $12 million (around Rs 77 crore) in its Series B round of funding from IFC and Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund Rocketship.

A year ago, IFC proposed an investment of up to $10 million (Rs 64 crore) in Gurgaon-based BEBB India Pvt. Ltd, which runs Power2SME, an online buying hub for SMEs.

Deals in the space

Last week, online classifieds company Info Edge (India) Ltd, which runs portals such as Naukri.com, invested Rs 3 crore ($460,000) in ShoeKonnect for a 20% stake in the online B2B marketplace for footwear.

In February, VCCircle reported that Bangalore-based Sabonka Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs business-to-business e-commerce platform Shotang, had received an additional Rs 5.5 crore ($864,000) from existing investors.

Last September, IFC’s portfolio firm Power2SME raised an additional $26 million (Rs 166 crore) in its Series E funding round from existing investors Inventus Capital Partners, Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital and Nandan Nilekani in September last year.

In the same month, Chennai-based Aahaa Stores Pvt. Ltd, an online B2B store for office supplies, raised $1 million (Rs 6.4 crore) in its second pre-Series A funding round led by YourNest Angel Fund.

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