Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) announced on Friday that it has invested an undisclosed amount in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce venture Wholesalebox Internet Pvt. Ltd.
Jaipur-based Wholesalebox will use the money primarily to start operations in new markets. The company currently has operations in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Wholesalebox was founded in 2015 by Rohit Dangayach, a former executive at CarDekho where he set up the new and used car dealer and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) businesses.
The firm’s other co-founders include Chandan Agarwal (chief operating officer), Madhur Bhaiya and Rakesh Shekhawat (both vice-presidents of technology).
Wholesalebox works towards digitising the supply chain in the fashion and lifestyle space. It claims to solve the pain point of procurement for unbranded retailers, which constitute a large chunk of the market.
The firm also says it is empowering shopkeepers with technology and helping them get walk-ins by making their inventory discoverable.
“There is a huge opportunity in terms of business growth using technology in the highly unorganised and fragmented wholesale apparel market," said K Ganapathy Subramanian, chief executive of RVCF.
Deals in the space
A few startups in the B2B e-commerce space have raised funding in recent months.
Bizongo, a B2B marketplace for packaging materials, raised $22 million (Rs 146.7 crore) in a Series B round in May from B Capital and International Finance Corporation (IFC) as well as existing investors Accel Partners and IDG Ventures.
In April, 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 another development in the space, ShakeDeal, a B2B bulk-sourcing online marketplace for industrial goods and raw materials, was acquired by US-based private equity firm Vora Ventures for an undisclosed amount last month.
RVCF, which is managed by Rajasthan Asset Management Co. Pvt. Ltd, focuses on early-stage investments and regional economic development. It is currently investing out of its third fund. IT/ITES, healthcare, food processing, logistics and education are the focus areas for the fund, according to its website.
Earlier this week, the fund invested $1 million in Jaipur-based online furniture platform Woodenstreet.
RVCF’s other bets include Direct Create Private Limited (DC), an online and offline B2B marketplace for artisans, designers and buyers; and enterprise security firm Aujas Networks.