[The Turning Point] 5 Years Later, Here’s What Drove 3 Former Flipsters To Launch B2B Ecommerce Startup Udaan


“What a trip this has been! Udaan co-founders Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar and Vaibhav Gupta wrote in an internal email sent to company employees as this week marked five years of activity for the B2B e-commerce company .

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

“We are well on our way to becoming India’s biggest trading platform, not just the biggest e-commerce platform,” the co-founders wrote in the email, including a copy. Your story saw.

Udaan operates in all categories including Lifestyle, Electronics, Home & Kitchen, Commodities, Fruits & Vegetables, FMCG, Pharmaceuticals, Toys & Merchandise general. He started his journey with a beta launch in 2016, and made waves by achieving unicorn status two years later – in September 2018.

The startup is now valued at more than $ 3 billion.

Focus on retail

Sujeet Kumar, who ran WS Retail Pvt. Ltd at Flipkart; Amod Malviya, ex-CTO of Flipkart; and Vaibhav Gupta, former senior vice president at Flipkart; realized that retail was the pulse of the Indian economy, but it was a very inefficient segment.

Despite the size of the industry, the trio found it to be “one of the least organized segments in the country.”

Outside of the framework of organized actors, millions of small retailers across India have not been touched by the technology.

As a result, they have been cheated by middlemen or middlemen, primarily on price and to some extent on quality. Other challenges included inefficient pricing (producers and end consumers were either paid low or more), lack of access to markets, unreliable logistics infrastructure and lack of transparency.

Based on their experience, the trio – alumni of IIT Delhi and IIT Kharagpur – decided to take up this challenge by turning technology into a revolution. They quit their jobs and launched the beta version of Udaan at the end of 2016.

At the same time, Udaan announced its $ 10 million Series A fundraiser. The company made a wider launch in June 2017.

An evolving business model

Udaan tapped into this segment of small business e-commerce when no other player was spending a lot to take advantage of technology and make life easier for small entrepreneurs. “We want to democratize the entire chain to ensure transparency and efficiency,” says Sujeet.

Over the years, the business model of the B2B startup has continued to evolve according to market requirements. The company has invested over Rs 4,000 crore over the past 12-18 months in various pillars of the business – technology, supply chain, category, credit, people, compliance, etc. – to accelerate and build capacities.

“It’s already showing in our growth, and we continue to aim for 100% year-over-year growth this year,” the email said.

To date, Udaan has more than three million users, 1.7 million retailers and 30,000 sellers on the platform with a delivery network spanning 900 cities and 12,000 PINs. It delivers around 1.5 to 1.75 lakh of orders per day and records up to 4.5 million deliveries per month.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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