Industrybuying.com, an online marketplace for industrial goods, has received an undisclosed amount in angel funding from family members of the Chennai-based Murugappa and TVS groups.
The funding round also saw participation from Vellayan Subbiah (Chola Finance), Muthu Murugappan (EID Parry), Arathi Krishna (JMD Sundram Fasteners from TVS group) and Arun Venkatachalam (angel investor).
The company plans to use the funds to enhance the platform, expand team, increase vendor base and develop digital offerings for B2B brands, it said in a statement.
“B2B e-commerce is a huge untapped market which is being addressed by Industrybuying. They have managed to build a formidable team to take up this challenge as well,” said Arathi Krishna, joint managing director at Sundram Fasteners.
Industrybuying was co-founded by Rahul and Swati Gupta (siblings) in 2013. Swati is a former Bain & Co employee and has 14 years of management consulting and private equity advisory experience in New York and India. Rahul, an alumnus of Columbia University, was previously associated as a trader with Lehman Brothers.
The company works on a zero inventory model. It sources products from vendors and ships to customers who order through the website.
In September, it had secured Rs 60 crore ($9 million) in a Series B funding round from Kalaari Capital, existing investor SAIF Partners and Teruhide Sato’s Beenext. It had raised $2 million from SAIF Partners in February.
“B2B e-commerce is a relatively new concept in India and appears to be a lucrative segment to the investors at present. This amalgamation of experts from across industry is an opportunity for the company and the founders to leverage each other’s learning from B2C e-commerce and to apply them to this wave of disruption in the B2B space,” said Vani Kola, MD at Kalaari Capital.
Industrybuying claims to have over 15,000 registered SMEs on its platform offering an online catalogue of over 300,000 products that are used in manufacturing, construction, maintenance, services and commercial operations. It counts companies in sectors such as FMCG, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, automotive, pharmaceuticals, services and others as clients.
Another venture in this space is Tolexo.com. Run by Tolexo Online Pvt Ltd, Tolexo is part of IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd, which runs an online B2B platform for small and medium businesses connecting global buyers with suppliers under the brand IndiaMART.
Globally, Amazon launched its wholesale e-com property AmazonSupply three years ago. This came two years after Alibaba launched a new site for B2B e-com under 1688.com.
The Chennai- headquartered Murugappa Group is largely owned by the Murugappa family. The group has 28 businesses, including 11 companies listed on NSE and BSE, operating in segments including abrasives, auto components, farm inputs and plantations.
TVS Group is a diversified group with its headquarters located in Chennai and Madurai. Almost all holdings of the group are private. Its largest subsidiary is TVS Motors, the third-largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India. TVS Group, with group revenue of more than $6 billion, specialises in manufacturing of two-wheeler, three-wheeler, auto-electrical components, dealership, electronic and electrical components, etc.